School Uniform Survey

School Uniform Survey from Barnardos

School Uniform SurveyEarlier this week, Barnardos issued it’s annual “School uniform survey” of parents ahead of the back-to-school period, filling the airwaves with claims about the costs of uniforms.“Not one single ISWA member was contacted by Barnardos in the course of their so-called school uniform survey” an ISWA spokesperson said. “If they had taken the opportunity to pursue proper research instead of merely a cheap headline, they would have found that their figures were false”.“The fact is that even if the prices listed were accurate – and they are not – Barnardos take no account of the durability of uniforms, meaning that not every child buys a uniform every year.

 School Uniform Survey Reply in Full from the ISWA

The Irish Schoolwear Association (ISWA), representing over two hundred school uniform suppliers and manufacturers nationally, has today called on Barnardos to withdraw what it says are misleading and inaccurate claims about the costs of school uniforms.Earlier this week, Barnardos issued it’s annual “School uniform survey” of parents ahead of the back-to-school period, filling the airwaves with claims about the costs of uniforms that the ISWA says are without foundation.

School Uniform Survey Barnados“Not one single ISWA member was contacted by Barnardos in the course of their so-called survey” an ISWA spokesperson said. “If they had taken the opportunity to pursue proper research instead of merely a cheap headline, they would have found that their figures were false”.“The fact is that even if the prices listed were accurate – and they are not – Barnardos take no account of the durability of uniforms, meaning that not every child buys a uniform every year. Barnardos should have been asked, and we challenge them now to answer, whether any discount was applied for this basic fact which is understood by parents and suppliers alike”.

“Further, the very survey which Barnardos tout, as if it were handed down on stone tablets, is in fact an opt-in survey of parents with no statistical reliability. The figures they have widely disseminated in their pursuit for a cheap summer headline could never be included in any proper scientific statistical analysis of the very matter they purport to speak with authority on”

School Uniform Survey causes atmosphere of fear

“As a result, all Barnardos have achieved is to whip up an atmosphere of fear and trepidation. The reality is that in very many cases, our members have worked hard during the recession to freeze uniform prices and offer discounts where possible. This effort was not helped by the Government’s misguided attempt this year – prompted by lobbying from Barnardos – to change the uniform system in many schools. While parents rejected this effort overwhelmingly and democratically in their tens of thousands, the confusion and delay in production orders that resulted put pressure on manufacturers and may have driven up costs in some cases”

School Uniform Survey and VAT

School Uniform survey and VAT“Where we agree with Barnardos is on the issue of VAT. It is ludicrous for starters that VAT is applied based on the size, and not the age of the child. Our members are sadly all too aware of a plethora of cases every year where children as young as seven require uniforms of a size too big to qualify for the VAT exemption. There is no excuse for basing a scheme designed to help children on the size, rather than the age of the child, and we see no reason for that to be maintained”“Further, we believe that there is a compelling case for further VAT measures to reduce the back to school cost, and will be launching a campaign on this issue in advance of Budget 2015”

“In conclusion, we believe that what has happened this week constitutes an act of emotional vandalism by an organisation that should know better. A survey on uniform costs that doesn’t actually survey uniform suppliers. A School Uniform survey that is presented as scientific fact there is no such thing. A set of results that takes no account of how people buy uniforms and how long they last. The pursuit of a headline rather than the pursuit of the truth. This is not how a responsible organisation should operate, and we sorely regret that it has been allowed to go unchallenged to date”.We need an independent body to conduct an accurate school uniform study.


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