Parents Encouraged to Apply for School Uniform Grants

17 July 2014

 Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has encouraged parents of eligible children to apply for school uniform grants.

The Clothing Allowance Scheme covers pupils in primary, post-primary and special schools. The eligibility criteria are similar to those used for free school meals.

The Minister said: ''We are now halfway through the summer holidays and parents and pupils will no doubt be planning for the start of the next school year. The cost of buying uniforms can be a struggle and a worry for many families but the uniform grant can help alleviate the cost.''

Through the Clothing Allowance Scheme, or school uniform grant, as it is also known, my Department provides much needed support to low income families to assist with the costs of school uniforms. The eligibility criteria for clothing allowances are similar to those used for free school meals and seek to target families who are on benefits or on low incomes.

The Minister continued: ''In 2013/14 my Department provided approximately £4.2million to support families with school uniform costs, enabling approximately 80,000 pupils to benefit from the grant. This year, I have allocated £5.4million to the scheme and it is estimated that an additional 15,000 pupils will benefit. This follows my announcement that the Working Tax Credit criterion will be extended to post-primary pupils from September 2014.''

Parents who think they may be eligible should contact their local Education and Library Board who will be able to provide additional information and advice as well as an application form. Further information is available on the nidirect website at:

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