Outraged parents have slammed the price of uniforms as "ridiculous", "crazy expensive" and "disappointing".

And many have shared how much they spent buying their children uniforms, with one woman saying it cost her about $1500 when her daughter started high school.

The comments come after the Ministry of Education announced it was investigating the costs of uniforms, but said it would not be subsidising the prices at this stage.

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Penny Anderson's daughter is Year 9 at Auckland Girls Grammar this year and said she was "shocked" at the price of uniforms and school materials.

"Yes, school uniforms are good for community building but having the official school emblem on every item I think is a deliberate ploy to squeeze more-generic options out.

"It is a serious issue and a constant discussion for parents of Year 9 right through to final year."

And one man said the problem was that there was often just one shop which sells each school's uniform so there was no competition.

"In many cases, financially struggling Kiwi mums and dads are being fleeced."

Another mother said her child's uniform was "a bloody stretch on the budget", with it costing just under $700.

While one father said the prices "are just ridiculous".

"Last year, between the uniform and stationary and the subject fees, I paid out over $700 and that's not including the extras throughout the year or the donation," the man said on Facebook.


A lot of parents commented that they bought secondhand uniforms to make it more affordable.

"I just buy what is needed for summer and add the winter gear when needed," the woman said on Facebook.

"The high school my youngest attends have stopped selling second hand, because people usually hand them down to next child, or family and friends.

"You can look into your local Facebook buy/sell uniform sales too."

Another parent recommended buying a size bigger to get two years out of the uniforms.

And some parents said although the cost of uniforms was high, it worked out cheaper than if their children wore mufti everyday.

"I found uniforms a darn sight cheaper than 'mufti', especially with label-conscious teens."

Meanwhile, one parent suggested New Zealand adopts a system like the one in the United Kingdom, where you can buy generic uniforms at budget chain stores and parents just need to buy the right school colours.

"The schools have a monopoly and they all have different uniforms, so there are no economies of scale in the market."

The Ministry of Education's deputy secretary, Katrina Casey, said earlier that they were investigating the cost of uniforms but that price cuts are not imminent.

"We understand that for some families, meeting back-to-school costs can be a struggle ... There is work under way but it is in its early stages," she said.

"It's important that there are no barriers to accessing education, including the cost of uniforms."

The ministry's announcement came as an independent survey of more than 1000 parents revealed they felt the pinch of back-to-school costs at home.

Of 1377 Postie customers, 46 per cent said there were experiencing stress over having to add new school uniforms into the household budget.