As school term begins, Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, has announced that there will be new statutory guidance covering school uniform and pupil appearance.

The new updated and strengthened guidance, which will be issued for a 12 week consultation this autumn, will focus on affordability and will also address a number of different issues that schools need to consider.

The Education Secretary has also once again urged parents/carers of eligible children to speak to their council about applying for the new PDG-Access fund.

PDG-Access offers parents/carers £125 to buy school uniform, equipment, sports kit and kit for activities outside of school for their child.

Looked-after children and learners eligible for free school meals will be eligible for this grant if they are entering reception class in primary school, entering year 7 in secondary school or aged 4 or 11 in special schools, Special Educational Needs (SEN) Units or Pupil Referral Units.

Kirsty Williams said: “Reducing the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers is at the heart of our national mission to raise standards.

“Parents and carers face many different costs when it comes to school uniform as well as activities both in and outside of school.

“Making school uniform guidance statutory is just one of the ways we can help reduce these costs.

“I also want to encourage the parents and carers of eligible children to keep applying to councils for PDG-Access funding. This is money that they are entitled to and could make a real difference to the cost of not just school uniform but equipment, sports kit and kit for activities outside of school too.”