Thursday 20 June 2024
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More Nottinghamshire families than ever need free school uniform payments

More money than ever before is being spent on helping vulnerable Nottinghamshire children afford school uniforms, the county council says.

The authority funds school clothing allowances for vulnerable families living across Nottinghamshire.

Families who are eligible for help include those who have lost clothes in a fire, a flood, theft, have been made homeless or are fleeing domestic violence.

But new numbers reveal that there has been an increase in claims during the 2022/23 financial year.

During this year, £673.75 was paid out, which is an overspend on the £500 budget allocated by the council.

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“This was the first year that the £500 budget was overspent.

“It is proposed that the budget for school clothing and footwear allowances paid under the category of exceptional circumstances be reviewed to ensure that the budget allocated meets need from April 2024.”

The review will be discussed by councillors at the children and families committee on June 19.

The council considers all requests for help from families in “exceptional circumstances” for all school-age children.

Families can claim up to £50 per pupil, depending on the circumstances.

The current overspend can be contained within the overall Education, Learning & Skills budget of £6.6m.

County council papers said: “In line with the County Council’s financial regulations, school clothing and footwear allowances are reviewed annually and as explained in this report it is proposed to continue to provide a fair and consistent approach for determining the amount of allowances paid under the exceptional circumstances category.

“The existing arrangements enable the most vulnerable families, irrespective of age or the type of school their child attends, to apply for assistance with school clothing allowance. The values set are intended to support families with the cost of school uniform.”

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