The Education Minister has urged schools to 'go easy' on pupils who might not be adhering to uniform policy as the return to the classrooms begins across Northern Ireland.
Though Peter Weir does not have any say in uniform policy, which is set by boards of governors, he has asked individual schools to avoid creating additional pressure or expense for parents as the country takes the first steps to move out of lockdown.
There have been fears many parents will have been unable to afford to update uniforms for pupils over the past year, with some families struggling financially.
"The wearing of a school uniform is not governed by legislation but falls to schools themselves to determine," the DUP minister said. "The day-to-day management of schools, including school uniform policy, is a matter for school principals, subject to any directions that might be given by the board of governors.
"The Department has, however, produced guidance for schools on developing school uniform policy. This guidance states that schools should make discrete enquiries in cases where a pupil is not adhering to the school uniform policy as there may be a number of valid reasons as to why and in such circumstances it may not be appropriate for schools to send a child home.
"The advice also states that schools should be sensitive to a situation where financial circumstances are preventing pupils from wearing the correct uniform.
"The Department has also addressed the matter of school uniforms in the Education Restart guidance on the safe reopening of educational settings and schools have been encouraged to consider the views of parents, pupils and the school community and to show flexibility on the issue of uniforms in these extraordinary times to avoid creating additional pressure on parents."