Tesco is taking on Marks & Spencer in the back to school clothing battle and has frozen its uniform prices to be the same as last year.

Tesco said it has made 26 improvements to its core schoolwear range and claimed that independent testing with mums found they thought the quality matched M&S, but with a lower price.

The supermarket said before expanding its Back to School range with 27 new products, it carried out blind consumer testing, verified independently, against other uniforms including those from M&S.

Its results found its boys polo shirts, boys trousers, girls long sleeve easy care shirt and girls skirt were comparable on quality with M&S. Price differences include Tesco Standard polo shirt for 92p while the M&S equivalent is £1 or a Tesco Standard girls skirt is £2.50 while M&S equivalent is £3.50.

Improvements to its range include bigger pockets, adjustable waists and sealed hems. It is also launching a bundle deal of any coat, any three-pack of polo shirt or short sleeve shirt and trousers, skirt or dress, for £12.

Jan Marchant, Tesco clothing buying director said:  “Tesco is launching our best ever school uniform with more quality features and benefits than ever before, whilst still keeping at last year’s amazing prices. Parents are telling us now that features like adjustable waist bands and kid-proof sealed hems on trousers are important – so it’s now available in our Standard range from as little as £3. We want kids to grow out of our uniform before they wear it out.”

She added: “We came top of the BBC’s Watchdog test on school uniforms last year and we know from industry research that quality is still the most important motivating factor for parents looking for schoolwear. But we know that price is still important for our customers and that’s why we are offering the lowest price we’ve ever offered on our Value range for older children as part of the offer.”

A TV and press campaign will launch on Friday.