Marks & Spencer has launched a range of plus-size school uniforms for obese primary school children.

The Plus range, aimed at ages three to six, has been launched as part of an online trial and comes in response to demand from parents. It caters for four year-olds with a 23 inch waistline, a size usually worn by eight year olds, and trouser and skirt sizes will go up to 41 inches.

Health campaigners said the range was commercial recognition that obesity is growing among pre-school children and that 27% of entrants to primary school are now overweight or obese.

A Marks & Spencer spokesman said: “It is a small online trial running in response to customer demand. Marks & Spencer is the leading school wear retailer and we want to make sure our school wear range is accessible for children of all shapes and sizes.”