By Lucy Ashton
Parents and carers who could be entitled to receive a grant to buy school uniforms should apply now to ensure they receive their money in time for the start of the new term.
The Council has maintained its clothing allowance of £150 per child for secondary pupils. And as part of a range of Cost of Living initiatives, the Council has increased the Scottish Government payment to primary pupils from £120 to £150, making West Dunbartonshire one of the highest paying Councils in Scotland.
Parents and carers of children who were automatically awarded the grant last year may still be required to provide proof of earnings and all eligible grants have already been paid. Parents and carers whose circumstances have changed since last year and any new applicants must complete a new application.
To claim clothing grants and free school meals, parents must be in receipt of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Universal Credit with an annual earned income of £9712 (£809.33 per month)
- Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
- Pension Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- Working Tax Credit with income less than £11637
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
- The subject of a kinship care order or a child falling within section 71(3)(f) of the Act (referred to here as a child having a parent appointed guardian)
You are eligible for a school clothing grant only if you receive:
- Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
- Working Tax Credit with a gross annual income of £16,860
You are eligible for free nursery/school meals only if you receive:
- Child Tax Credit only (but not Working Tax Credit) with income less than £21,020
- or young children who are looked after by the authority concerned or any local authority
Labour councillors Clare Steel and John Millar.
Many schools in West Dunbartonshire operate a dress code which includes all pupils wearing a designated uniform as this helps to create a strong school identity and ethos amongst pupils. The generous school clothing grant should help all parents to follow the dress code and guidelines at their children’s school.
Councillor Clare Steel, Convener of Educational Services, said: “I am delighted we have been able to increase the grant to primary pupils and offer much needed financial assistance to many more families in West Dunbartonshire.
“Our priority is to help as many families as possible and I’m confident this increase will be welcomed across our area. I would encourage residents who are entitled to claim to apply now to ensure they have their money well in advance of the new school term. I understand the financial strain faced by parents and how expensive it is to kit the kids out for going back to school. In the current financial climate, this money will be a welcome boost for families and I hope everyone who is entitled to receive this money contacts the Council and submits their claim.”
Councillor John Millar, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “The process is very straight forward and is great financial support for parents as the cost of school uniforms can be expensive. So our aim is to ensure everyone who is entitled to receive help, gets it. I would also ask residents to respond quickly if we ask for further information, as this helps to speed up the process and get the money out to parents and carers so they can get everything bought in for the new term.”
For further information and to apply please visit https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/school-and-educational-grants/free-school-meals-and-clothing-grant/