You may be able to get up to £ 150 to help pay for school uniforms and sports equipment with a school uniform grant.
Back to school, it’s one of those bittersweet times! (Yeah, I know they haven’t broken up yet!)
I loved spending extra time with my kids, but a little time apart wouldn’t hurt 😉
However, what I fear at this time of year is the additional costs that we will have to raise.
This is not the case with our youngest in elementary school The Bad. Most of their uniforms can be picked up unbranded and for a reasonably cheap price.
It’s the bigger one that is shaking my bank account! In secondary school, she needed sports gear, soccer shoes, artificial turf boots, plus the actual uniform with a blazer, sweater and school shirt – it must have a school logo!
Help is available in difficult times.
Instead of spending money that you may not have, there are ways to get uniforms super cheap – or even for free!
Scholarship for school uniform
You can apply for up to £ 150 for your child’s school uniform with a government means test grant.
Depending on your circumstances, local councils can help low-income families with uniform costs.
Not all advice offers this so you need to check this out.
Some offer the full £ 150, others just £ 20, but some offer nothing at all.
If eligible, you can receive up to £ 150 to cover the cost of the actual uniform as well as the sportswear.
Are you eligible?
Typically, you are eligible if you are receiving any of the following:
- social care
- Unemployment benefit (income-related)
- Child tax credit (if you are not entitled to an employment tax credit)
- Employment Aid (ESA)
- State pension (this must be your only source of income)
- Support according to Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal credit
Remember, it’s not all about benefits. Your local council must also support the grant. If it doesn’t, you will not be able to get assistance.
How to apply for the school uniform scholarship
You can usually apply between June 30th and September 30th, but each ward is different so it’s best to check with them.
If necessary, you have to submit a new application every year.
Some places offer better support than others:
You can check the government website to see if your community supports school uniform costs.
Just enter your zip code and you will be taken to the unified policy page of your own council.
If you are eligible for a school uniform scholarship, the money will likely be paid to you by check.
According to The Mirror, the number of councils offering this benefit is declining.
In the past year, dozens of councilors are said to have withdrawn from the program. That means that you might have received the school uniform scholarship last year, but you might not have received this year.
Scotland – Scholarship for school clothes
In Scotland, the Schoolwear Scholarship allows you to apply for a minimum of £ 100 in financial aid.
You need to apply to your local council and the eligibility criteria and the amount you will receive will be determined by them.
The grant is available for children in primary and secondary education.
They are given £ 100 to pay for clothes and shoes.
Wales – Scholarship for student development
If you live in Wales you are looking for a student development grant.
You can receive £ 125 to buy school uniform, equipment, sports equipment and out-of-school equipment for your child.
Children entering 7th grade receive a £ 200 scholarship as there is a higher cost to enter secondary education.
If you have a child who is getting free school meals, you can apply if they:
- Start of the admission class in elementary school
- in school years 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
- in a special school, special education resource base or student placement agency and aged 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 years old
- a cared for child
You need to contact your local authority to apply. Applications for 2021-2022 are possible from July 15, 2021.
Northern Ireland – Clothing allowance system
In Northern Ireland, you must apply to the Education Board for the Apparel Allowance Program if you are eligible.
This can grant you a subsidy for uniforms for elementary, secondary and special schools, but no subsidies for kindergartens, crèches or admission classes.
You can get:
- € 35.75 for a primary school student
- £ 51 for a lower secondary / special school student under 15 years of age
- £ 56 for a secondary / special school student over the age of 15
- £ 22 for a physical education kit for lower secondary / special school students
As a rule, a student can only receive a flat-rate clothing fee during the school year.
If your local council doesn’t support school uniform grants, or if you’re not eligible to apply, there are several ways you can get a cheaper school uniform.
Many schools are offering almost new sales.
It is best to contact your school directly to see if they or the PTA have anything to offer.
Their almost new sales sell cheaper school uniforms and sports equipment that has been donated by parents or that has been lost for too long.
Last year we managed to get new school dresses for just £ 1 – like new!
Facebook Marketplace is a decent place to check out other local Facebook sales pages.
Instead of sitting and waiting for something to show up, run a police report. It could be that people have a used uniform but haven’t thought of selling it beforehand.
You’ll find eBay will have lots of uniforms too, but if you have a school of branded sweaters or ties, keeping them local is a win.
While state school uniforms funding can be a real lifesaver for some, there is no obligation for councils to help.
If you are really struggling with the cost of the school uniform, it is best to contact the school directly to see if there is anything else they can do to help.
If you are a member of a union they may offer some kind of support. Unison offers scholarships between £ 50 and £ 150.
For anyone who works in a supermarket, there is also the GroceryAid Schoolwear Scholarship that could help.
Turn2us has a scholarship finder and you can search what is available to you or your family.
School uniform bill
The School Uniforms Act will change the price of uniforms.
While the bill is approved, we’ll have to wait for parents to see lower and more affordable costs.
I suspect that school uniform subsidies will be abolished once the law comes into effect.