School Uniform Grants: People with children always face a daunting time in autumn when it’s time to buy the new school uniforms: kids grow every year and their uniforms need replacing with each school year: sometimes they are redesigned and need updating. All of this leaves parents and guardians with a hefty bill.
Luckily, there are School Uniform Grants available throughout the UK in 2022, so here’s our guide to those available now.
It seems that each authority is different – some offer help directly, others suggest parents/carers contact their school. According to an article in the Birmingham Mail in England, the School Uniform Grant is not a statutory right and has been the victim of cuts to funding over recent years. It’s a classic example of a postcode lottery.
Where it is available, to be eligible you have to be earning less than £16,190 a year or on certain benefits including job seeker’s allowance, income support, child tax credit, state pension or universal credit, ESA or Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU CAN GET THE GRANT:
Click here and search for your local authority by putting in your postcode.
York City Council, by way of example, say: “You don’t need to apply for assistance with school uniform, as we identify pupils who are eligible for this in June each year.”
Uniform Assistance Grant vouchers are issued to eligible pupils with eligibility based on those who are entitled to receive free school meals at non-academy schools: it only covers Years 7-10 with a £100 voucher for Year 7, and a £50 voucher for Years 8, 9 & 10.
The Sun approached 148 councils in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and 52 responded:
The amount they are offering ranges from £62 to £150. One of the councils offering £150 is Greenwich Borough Council, in London, and you will get a grant if you currently receive a qualifying benefit.
Other parts of the UK:
Learners currently eligible for free school meals can apply for the grant of £125 per learner, and £200 for those learners entering Year 7, recognizing the increased costs associated with starting secondary school. All school years are now eligible.
Families who are eligible for free school meals can submit a claim if they have a child in primary school from Reception to Year 6, and in Secondary school from Year 7 to Year 11.
All looked-after children qualify for the grant, whether they receive free school meals or not – this means a child who has been in the care of their local authority for more than 24 hours. Families are only entitled to claim once per child, per school year.
To apply for this grant, please contact your local authority (here).
You may be able to get financial help with your child’s school clothing and shoes. This help is called a ‘school clothing grant’. You apply to your local council, and it’s normally a cash grant paid directly to your bank account.
Who can apply and the amount of money you’ll get depends on your local council. Everybody who gets a school clothing grant will get at least £120 per child of Primary school age, and £150 per child of Secondary school age.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS
You may be able to apply for free school meals at the same time as you apply for the clothing grant, through your local council.
Check your local council’s website to see when you apply for the grant. Most councils will accept applications from July until the end of March.
There are Uniform Grants available to some pupils. The eligible criteria for a uniform grant is similar to qualifying for free school meals (FSM).
The Clothing Allowance Scheme covers pupils in primary, post-primary and special schools.
There are no uniform grants for children at Nursery schools/units, or Reception classes.
A Uniform Grant can pay:
£42.90 for a primary school pupil
£61.20 for a post primary/special school pupil under 15 years old
£67.20 for a post primary/special school pupil over 15 years old
£26.40 for a post primary/special school pupil physical education kit
A school pupil can usually only get one clothing allowance during the school year.
If your child is eligible for a school uniform grant, you need to apply to the Education Authority. To read more about eligibility for uniform grants, click here where you can also apply for free school meals/school uniform/physical education clothing allowance.
For Academy Schools, parents/carers should contact the school directly.
Also check out our Money Saving Tips for Parents.