A grant aimed at helping families with the cost of school uniforms has been increased, the Scottish Government has announced.
The Scottish Government and local authority leaders have reached an agreement to increase the national school clothing grant to a minimum of £120 per eligible primary school pupil and £150 per eligible secondary school pupil.
It was previously a minimum of £100.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the increase would help relieve “some of the pressure” faced by families.
She said: “School uniforms can place a significant financial burden on families, some of whom are already facing additional hardship as a result of the pandemic.
“This school clothing grant will help to relieve some of that pressure for around 145,000 families and it will help to ensure that all children can go to school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”
COSLA Children and Young People’s spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “Councils and schools are working to tackle the costs of the school day, ensuring that all children are able to fully participate in their education.
“Working with the Scottish Government, we are pleased that the national minimum school clothing grant has been increased and that families can get extra support as we continue on the road to recovery from the pandemic.”
Eligible families can apply for the school clothing grant through their local council.
What’s the picture in Tayside?
Previous figures show that in the period between August and December 2020, one in three children in Dundee received a grant for school uniform.
Dundee City Council issued 6,165 school uniform grants from the start of the academic year through to December, which is around 34% of the 18,000 pupils in the city’s schools.
In 2016 Dundee City Council was the first local authority to raise the grant to £100 per child, having previously offered just £38 in help for struggling parents.
“School uniforms can place a significant financial burden on families.”
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville
The following year the Scottish Government followed suit and set the grant at £100 per child, per school year.
Perth and Kinross Council issued uniform grants to 12% of pupils at its schools in the same period (August and December 2020) – which equates to 1,974 of the 17,000 pupils there.
In Angus, the local authority issued uniform grants to 17% of its pupils between August and December 2020 – approving funds to 2,628 of the 15,263 pupils in the region.