Tendering your school uniforms supply and the new challenges for 2022

A 2015 study from the DfE identified a saving of £50 on average if parents could buy all school uniform items from any store, as opposed to uniform which all needs to be bought from a designated shop or school.

The new guidance is set to come into force in autumn 2022. It will require schools to help keep costs down by removing unnecessary branded items and allowing more high-street options, like supermarket own-brand uniforms.

They will also have to make sure second-hand uniforms are available, which will contribute towards achieving a net-zero carbon position.

So, what does this mean for schools and their uniforms?

  • Firstly, schools will need to make sure that a uniform policy is published on their website and is clear and easy for parents to understand.
  • This new guidance also requires schools to use competitive and transparent contracts with suppliers. Where a school needs to run a competitive tender process for a new contract, the contract should be in place “no later than December 2022”.
  • Schools are expected to have taken steps to adhere to the new guidance before parents buy uniforms for the academic year beginning in September 2022.

How are schools going to ensure their prices are competitive? Exactly how can they benchmark this category?  What does a clear and easy to understand policy look like, and how should any tenders in 2022 be conducted to ensure that the above guidance is met?

With all the academic challenges facing schools post COVID this is another job to do and another concern to have!  This is a perfect example where a consultant can make the process smooth, draw on industry knowledge and benchmarks and ultimately deliver a compliant solution that gives a school’s leadership peace of mind.

To discuss how Litmus Partnership can assist with your school’s uniform policy or tender process, please call us on 01276 673880