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Education Minister, John O''Dowd, has encouraged parents of eligible children to apply for school uniform grants.
The Minister said: ''It is that time of the year when parents may be starting to plan for the new school year in September and may be turning their focus to buying new uniforms. The cost of purchasing uniforms can be a worry and a struggle for some parents but the uniform grant can help alleviate the cost.
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 and seek to target families who are on benefits or low incomes.
The Minister continued: ''In 2014/15 my Department provided approximately £5.1million to support families with school uniform costs, enabling approximately 93,000 pupils to benefit from the grant. This year, I have allocated £5.4million to the scheme.
Parents who think they may be eligible should contact the Education Authority 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 http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/school-uniform-grant'