According to the Guardian, financial aid for uniforms has fallen by more than 70% across England since 2010. More than 80% of cash-strapped local councils now offer no assistance, blaming years of cuts. Data collected through the Freedom of Information Act reveals for the first time that the “school uniform grant”, introduced in 1980, has been dramatically scaled back in England over the past decade. While the Department for Education (DfE) still advertises the grant, it is left to struggling councils to find the resources to pay it out.
Only 27 out of 149 councils surveyed provide the grant at all. A third of those only do so in cases such as fires, floods or “extreme poverty”. Only three councils offer a grant to low-income children in all school years and in all situations.
The average grant offered was £36 for primary pupils and £63 for secondary schools, compared with an average £300 cost of a uniform in 2018. Just one council, Islington in north London, offered the full £150 promoted by the government.
Labour MP Lisa Forbes said “These cuts hit our youngest and most vulnerable,
“Each day, there are children forced to go to school in clothes that are dirty, badly fitting and unsuitable, while some even report missing lessons as a result.”
Read the full article Families in England hit by 70% cut in school uniform grant
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