School Uniform Grant – Here's What It Is And How To Apply For It

It's part of the Education Act – but not all parents know about it.

School uniform is expensive, let’s be honest. But some parents may be eligible to receive a grant that’ll pay up to £150 towards the cost of it.

The school uniform grant is part of the Education Act 1980 offered by the government to help families on low incomes, which states that “local authorities must make provision for the clothing of pupils that would otherwise be unable to afford schoolwear”.

While it’s compulsory for families in Scotland to receive this grant – of at least £100 – it differs in England depending on your local council. If you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, there are dedicated pages to check whether you’re eligible for the grant here.

However, if you live in England, the government website suggests you need to check if your local council provides help with the cost of school uniform. In recent years, some councils have scrapped or reduced the grant due to funding issues.

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To find out if you’re eligible, you can put your postcode in here and it will take you to your local council’s website to see whether they provide the grant. “If your council does not offer help, ask your child’s school directly,” the website states.

For example, those who live in York will be eligible to receive assistance towards the cost of the uniform if their child has free school meals and are registered at a non-academy school.

And in Birmingham, the council website states that no family should feel “unable to apply for a [school] place for their child because of the cost of the uniform” – though parents will need to contact the individual school directly for the grant.

The amount you can claim depends on the budget of your local council. Usually, to receive the grant, you must be already claiming a benefit, such as income support, child tax credit, employment support allowance, or job seeker’s allowance.