Low-income families to be able to apply for £150 school uniform grant

After many students were away from school for much of the first half of the year due to coronavirus lockdown, the Government has told parents that children should go back for the new term in September.

With soaring unemployment rates and others who have also lost income due to coronavirus, parents may be worried about adding school uniforms to the list of family expenses.

But children in low-income families who live in certain areas where the grant is still in place are eligible for state school uniform grants of up to £150.

What is the grant?

The grant was introduced in 1980 in the Education Act of that year. It helped parents in poorer families with their expenses by letting them apply to their local authorities for support buying school uniforms.

But many local authorities in England say they have had to scrap or cut the scheme because of funding pressures.

The Department for Education has said parents can get in touch with the schools themselves for help with uniform costs.

A spokesperson said: “Our guidance emphasises that schools should give highest priority to cost considerations.

“No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend a school of their choice due to the cost of the uniform.”

How can you apply for the grant?

Only children from households earning less than £16,190 a year, or on one of the following benefits, are eligible for the grant: income support, job seeker’s allowance (income based), child tax credit, employment support allowance, state pension, support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or Universal Credit.

Many local authorities in England don’t offer the grant, but some do. Islington in north London provides £150, while Southwark in the south of the capital offers £45 for children moving from primary to state secondary schools.

YOu can check to see if the area you live in has the grant available here

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