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With the cost of living crisis causing the bills, food and fuel to increase for families across the UK, many parents will struggle to cover the costs for a brand new uniform before schools reopen in the autumn.
A survey by The Schoolwear Association found that a school uniform costs an average of £101.19 per child in secondary school.
Thankfully, a school uniform grant worth up to £150 is being offered to struggling parents across the country.
On the other hand, not everyone will be able to receive the grant because it is not compulsory in England. This means that not all local authorities will offer it and each council will have their own criteria for who is eligible.
The size of the grant will also vary across councils and the child’s age will also help to decide who can get the grant.
Parents who claim free school meals, have low incomes, or claim benefits will likely be able to claim the added support for their children’s uniforms.
And just in case you were wondering, the school uniform grant also covers PE kits.
Applying for the grant also varies between councils, however the process usually involves completing an online or paper form that can be emailed or posted to the office of your council.
Applications are usually open between June or July until the end of September, the deadlines can vary and it’s imperative to check your own councils deadline.
Some schools may also provide financial support from the school or via charities for parents who live in areas that do not have the grant.
If you are struggling to pay for your child’s school meals, you may consider applying for free school meals.
Parents who are on income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit or universal credit may be able to get free school meals for their children.
The full list of requirements can be found on the government’s dedicated website. There is also a service where you can search your postcode to be redirected to the free school meals page on your council’s website. There you will find more information on how to apply.
To find out whether your council offers the school uniform grant, please visit the government website here. You may be redirected to your local authority’s website for more information.
According to the website, parents in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales may also be eligible for the grant.
The charity Turn2Us can help parents find out the aid available with a special free grants search tool. You can read more about it here.