CHEAP school uniforms are now available in many chain stores but many parents say not enough is being done by schools to bring down their costs.
As a price war breaks out, Aldi will sell uniforms priced at just €6.50 from next week, while Tesco is offering them for just €6 and Dunnes also has a range of low-priced generic uniform items in stock.
These uncrested garments in typical school colours such as grey, navy and black allow parents shop around for cheaper items instead of being forced to buy from specialist providers.
However, despite a Department of Education drive to bring down uniform costs, such as allowing generic garments in all schools, children's charity Barnardos found recently that a majority of parents have still not been given a say in their school's uniform policy.
The department issued a circular calling on all school authorities to survey parents by last February to determine each school's uniform policy for the coming year.
Around 52pc of parents had not yet received a survey on their wishes regarding uniforms even though most wanted cheaper options, according to a poll by Barnardos in May.
Aldi said yesterday it would offer uniforms for primary pupils for €6.50 from next Thursday. The range includes trousers or skirts for €1.99 each, sweaters for €2.49 and polo shirts at €1.99 for a two-pack.
The items will be available as a special offer for a limited time but Aldi buying director Colin Breslin said there would be plenty of stock at its 108 Irish stores following high demand in the last two summers when it started offering cut-price uniforms.
"We know that sending children back to school can be extremely costly for families and at Aldi we aim to reduce that financial pressure," he said.
Tesco has a school uniform bundle for €6, including a blue polo shirt for €1.50, a sweatshirt for €2.50 and trousers or skirt for €2 each – available next Monday. Tesco also has a further back-to-school range available at its stores which already carry the F&F clothing range, and these are also available to order online at f-f.com.
Dunnes, meanwhile, has a huge range of uniform items including skirts from €4, trousers from €4.25, pinafores from €6, jumpers from €7.50, and polo shirt two-packs and sweatshirts from €3.
Its uniforms are also available to buy online at dunnesstores.com.