What am I bid for this old school tie?
A thriving trade in secondhand ties is going on in independent schools. Blazers, pullovers, shirts and badges are also changing hands at knock-down prices.
The details of this upmarket jumble sale are disclosed in the latest report from the Price Commission on the cost of school uniform. The report says 83 per cent of independent schools enable parents to buy and sell used clothing.
Contrary to popular opinion, the report says retailers and manufacturers make no more profit on school uniforms than other children's clothes. The only way to cut the cost of school uniform is to reduce the number and quality of items that schools require, the Price Commission says.
The average cost of a uniform including tie, pullover, shirt, blazer, badge and trousers for a boy is #163;26.44 if parents go to an independent clothing shop.
The bizarrely named "variety stores", such as Marks amp; Spencer, British Homes Stores and CA, are usually cheapest for pullovers, shirts and trousers, the report says. But they do not all stock blazers, the most expensive item of school wear.