West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Call to apply for Uniforms Grant

Published: 24 August, 2011

Sinn Fein Omagh town councillor Sorcha McAnespy has called for local families to apply for the uniform grant scheme. Additionally the scheme also includes Free School Meals.

Those eligible for the scheme must be in receipt of Income Support / Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance / Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit; or Child Tax Credit and are not receiving Working Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit and have an annual taxable Income of £16,190 or less.

The Clothing Scheme does not apply to pupils in attendance at Nursery Schools / Nursery Units / Reception Classes.

Urging local parents to apply for the scheme Sorcha McAnespy said:

"I would urge local parents to apply for the uniform grant scheme. I would also urge an uptake of the free schools meals to those who are eligible. Both these schemes aim to alleviate the financial pressures on families at this time of year when children are returning to school. It is particularly welcome given the current financial hardships and will help families who struggle to meet the cost of basic everyday needs such as the cost of school uniforms.

"The allowance, which was introduced a number of years ago by Sinn Féin education Minister Caitríona Ruane, amounts to £35 for mainstream primary schools and over £50 for those attending post primary or special needs schools. Families are eligible to apply for all their children who are attending school.

"As a parent of three children myself I understand all too well the expenses involved in sending children to school. This year has been particularly costly for our household as we have one child starting Grammar and one child starting primary, so we had to purchase two full uniforms. Primary uniforms can be bought reasonably enough as you can shop around for the standard items ie trousers, skirts, blouses etc. generally the jumper with the crest will be the biggest expenditure. Unfortunately it is a different story for the Secondary Uniforms, as there are limited outlets containing these uniforms, but I would still recommend comparing prices because you will be surprised to learn that there can be quite a difference in price between the shops. Also you have a vast quantity of items to buy for the secondary Schools, a typical example of a secondary school uniform would cost upwards of £150.
Add to this Shoes, a school bag, PE Kit, and miscellaneous other costs and it runs to over £200. So a little bit of financial help would be all too welcome.

"I would encourage all eligible families to apply for these schemes. The eligibility criteria will be the same as those currently used for the post-primary school uniform allowance. Application forms can be obtained from the WELB offices (ph: 028 8241 1496) or alternatively can be obtained online."CRÍOCH