School clothing grants available

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Parents who require financial assistance to purchase school clothes for their children for the new term starting in August are being urged to apply for the school clothing grant, which is now open for applications.

The grant which has increased by £100 from last year has risen to £120 for primary school pupils and £150 for secondary school pupils whose parents are on certain benefits.

The grant is part of a larger North Ayrshire Council scheme to help reduce the costs of the school day. The scheme has been formulated with the involvement of the council, young people, parents and community planning partners, who are working on a £500,000 scheme to ease the burden for families struggling to meet the costs associated with sending their children to school.

The £500,000 programme, which will be a reoccurring investment, will focus on digital access, food and clothing, including:

• Food: £150,000 to extend the school and community food network across all schools to support children and families;

• Clothing and sustainability: £100,000 for a school and family participatory budget investment fund for educational establishments to respond to local needs in relation to school uniforms, outdoor clothing, sports kit and recycling and reuse equipment; and

• Digital inclusion: £250,000 in a digital families fund to digitally include 1,000 families each year, providing access to devices and connectivity for online learning and activities, enhancing and guaranteeing sustainability of current investment in devices for home use.

Applications are now open for both the school clothing grant and free school meals. For more information and to apply, visit the council’s website at