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Parents have been ripped off over school uniforms

What’s news?

As if the cost of raising children wasn’t high enough, school uniforms have become ridiculously expensive. And now we know why.

Many schools have been found guilty by the Competition Commission for “anti-competitive behaviour”. In other words, schools and uniform suppliers entered into agreements whereby some schools would only use certain suppliers. This meant that those suppliers could charge really high prices, while parents had no alternative suppliers to choose from.

Various schools and suppliers, including the Reddam House uniform shop and Curro Schools, have reached a settlement with the Commission.

Why does this matter?

It’s not only private schools who are guilty of this. A study reportedly found that about 30% of former model C schools surveyed had exclusive agreements with suppliers. Parents were being hit hard all over the economic divide.

What now?

The commission hasn’t reached agreements with all schools, and is still conducting its investigation. It had harsh words for those schools who have not come forward, reportedly saying that its approach would be more “firm” in the future, and that its “understanding and patience are not unlimited”.