A west Dorset student wants to make access to school uniforms across the county better and more affordable for families.

Stanley Bowden, a student at the Colfox School in Bridport and member of the local Youth Parliament, is on a mission to make uniform in Dorset more accessible, practical and affordable.

Dorset Youth Parliament gives a space for young people, like Stanley, where they can share their thoughts and make positive changes in the community.

It's a place where they talk about issues that affect students and try to find solutions that work for everyone.

Stanley, who has been campaigning on school uniform for two years, is calling for schools to be more accommodating and ease the financial pressure on families during the cost-of-living crisis.

He said: “I think schools could use cheaper brands for uniforms and set up places where students can swap their old uniforms. 

"I'd also like students to have more personal autonomy with their uniform and use it to express themselves. My school has made some really positive changes to its uniform policy and my fellow students now have more freedom in what they wear.”  

The youngster is also calling for uniforms to be more practical for students to wear outside of school, including removable school logos. 

He would also like a 'uniform rating system' that score uniforms on comfort, practicality, and cost. 

Stanley's suggestions have received a positive response from other youth parliament members and the schools in Dorset he has contacted.   

Cllr Byron Quayle, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: "It's good to see young voices like Stanley being heard in the community.

“The Dorset Youth Parliament provides a brilliant opportunity for young people to have their say and to be listened to." 

The Dorset Youth Parliament looks into issues that matter to young people and the community. For more information, search Dorset Youth Voice - Dorset Council online. 

Members of Youth Parliament are 11–18-year-olds who represent the views of young people in their community. During February, young people in Dorset can vote for the candidate they wish to represent them.

To view the candidates for the 2024 election, search UK Youth Parliament 2024 Dorset Candidates on YouTube.