Sligo parents will be delighted to learn this morning that an entire
school uniform, in a range of colours, can now be bought for €5. No
The news will come as a godsend for hard pressed parents struggling to cope with back to school costs.
Budget supermarket Aldi, who recently opened a branch in Sligo, is selling entire primary school uniforms for just €5.
A pair of trousers or a pleated skirt will set you back €2, while polo
shirts are two for €1.25 and round neck jumpers cost €1.75.
The range - for children aged between four and 11 - comes in grey,
black, red, navy, white and blue will be on sale from next Thursday
One parent told SligoToday.ie
, "This is great news, every year we get
ripped off with some of the prices being charged by other shops. They'll
probably say the quality of these uniforms and not last but so what,
I've two kids at primary school so I'm going to by three uniforms each
and that will do for the year."
Other parents complained about the school badges that cannot be removed
from school jumpers forcing parents to buy from selected shops who can
charge as much as €35 for the crested article.
Some parents have suggested that the Parents Associations in Sligo
should be more pro-active in changing school policy at Primary and
Secondary level especially as some schools insist on trousers or skirts
with a pattern that again can only be bought from selected shops at
A non-generic crested uniform in a Sligo primary school, along with the
accessories being promoted and sold by the schools, can top €175 so the
Aldi deal will be a welcome relief for parents.
Dunnes has similar school uniform items to those on offer at Aldi but
they cost €15 to kit out a primary schoolchild. They charge from €3.50
for a skirt, €3.50 for two polo shirts and from €8 for a jumper.
And at Marks & Spencer it costs €17 for these basics in generic navy
or grey, including a two-pack of skirts or trousers for €9, two polos
for €4 and a cotton jumper for €4.
At both Dunnes and M&S, uniform prices tend to increase slightly for bigger sizes.
Meanwhile, at Arnotts, the bill for a generic skirt, single polo shirt
and plain jumper comes in at €51 yesterday -- 10 times more than the
The Arnotts skirt and jumper were noticeably heavier fabrics than the
cheaper Aldi items, suggesting they might last longer -- though only
time will tell.
The Arnotts jumper was half wool, half acrylic but, unlike the cotton
Aldi sweatshirt, could not be tumble dried and had to be washed at a
The Aldi polos, meanwhile, were pure cotton but claimed to be "easy iron", while the €5 Arnotts one was a polyester/cotton mix.
Aldi said their skirts and trousers were Teflon-coated to help resist stains and water.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn last year criticised schools that
require parents to purchase uniforms from exclusive suppliers that means
they can't shop around.
The Department of Education said last night that Mr Quinn supported any
measures such as the use of generic uniforms or sew-on crests that would
reduce costs for parents.
He had held discussions with St Vincent de Paul and Barnardos on the
matter and a further meeting would take place in early September.
"However, any arrangements in this regard will have to be made between
school authorities and parents, as the department cannot oblige schools
or their patrons to adopt a particular uniform policy," a spokesman
The Sligo branch of Aldi is situated on Cranmore Road.