New clothing grant to help with school uniforms

The new grant will apply to around 120,000 eligible families.
The new grant will apply to around 120,000 eligible families.

An estimated 120,000 families will benefit from a new £100 national minimum school clothing grant in Scotland as a result of partnership working between Scotland’s Local Authorities and the Scottish Government.

It means for the first time all eligible families, regardless of their local authority area, will have access to the same minimum level of financial support for school clothing.

The scheme will open in time for the 2018/19 academic year with eligibility determined at a local level.

Overall annual costs are expected to reach £12 million with 50% of the cost met by additional Scottish Government funding and 50% met by individual local authorities.

The grant will be reviewed every two years to ensure that the amount available remains in line with cost of living.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney said: “Every child in Scotland should be able to attend school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.

“We know that school uniforms can be a considerable cost for families which is why we have worked in partnership with COSLA to introduce a new national minimum school clothing grant.

“It will help relieve pressure on families, reduce costs of living and remove the stress and stigma which can often be associated with struggling to afford essential school items.”

Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA’s Spokesperson for Children and Young People, said: “School uniform can be a significant cost to families and COSLA are delighted that, together with Scottish Government, all councils will be introducing an increased minimum school clothing grant across the country.

“Every child in Scotland deserves the best chance in life and for too long poverty has blighted the life chances of too many of our children and young people. Access to decent clothing is an important part of ensuring children have the best chance of getting the most from their education. Therefore it is only right that we do the best we can to create as much of a level playing field as we can in terms of school uniform.

“Scotland’s councils are committed to making the learning experience as positive as possible for our young people. Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction towards achieving this aim.”