Buying a school uniform for girls is more expensive than for boys, research has revealed.
A study by online tax calculator Income Tax UK looked at the prices of items for a basic school uniform list across the websites of four supermarket leaders – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Marks and Spencer.
The study found that clothing for girls is, on average, 12% more expensive than it is for boys.
This difference in price between gendered items is commonly known as the “pink tax”, and has been highlighted in industries such as health and beauty, but is also found in other sectors.
How was this calculated?
The cost per unit was calculated and multiplied by the average number of items parents buy their children per year.
It was found that on average, girls’ uniforms cost 11.8% more than boys’. For primary school students, the average cost of boys’ uniforms is £130.81 whereas for girls it is £150.14.
The price difference continues into secondary school, with girls’ uniforms costing 11.16% more across the supermarkets.
For older students items such as tights and shoes frequently have to be bought from the adult section which will cause a large jump in price.
This results in secondary school uniforms being 29% more expensive than primary school uniforms.
Which shop was cheapest for uniforms?
The study also showed that Tesco tops the list as the cheapest supermarket for school uniform, with its average uniform list cost coming to £110.75.
In second place is Asda with an average cost of £128, followed by Sainsbury’s in third with an average of £139.38.
Marks & Spencer offers more premium uniform choices and proves to be the most expensive store with an average spend of £229. This makes it more than twice the price of Tesco.
What’s the reason?
The study pointed to girls having more clothing options such as skirts and dresses as a reason why the prices are more expensive.
It also highlighted that girls’ items tend to be more structured and embellished, using more materials and techniques to construct pieces.
A spokesperson for Income Tax UK said: “This study highlights the issue of gendered products having a price disparity, however it does provide the opportunity for supermarkets to not only challenge this, but also provide more unisex options for school uniforms.”