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Nottinghamshire: More help for families facing exceptional circumstances needing help with school uniform costs

Nottinghamshire County Council is increasing the budget available for school uniforms to support more children and families facing exceptional circumstances.

School clothing allowances are discretionary and the council has committed to offer this support to assist those in exceptional circumstances.

The council reviews this discretionary scheme each year and agrees on an approach to ensure that allowances offered are applied consistently and fairly.

Families eligible for help include those who have lost clothes in a fire, flood or theft, been made homeless, or are fleeing domestic violence, according to the individual circumstances of each application.

The figures for the 2022/23 financial year show that the council provided approximately £700 to families in Nottinghamshire. In its recent review, the council has increased the budget from April 2024 to £1,000 to support possible future needs.

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Families can claim up to £50 per pupil, depending on the circumstances, and requests are considered for all school-aged children attending a maintained school or an academy at any time during the school year if they are facing exceptional circumstances.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “School clothing assistance is a discretionary allowance and many local authorities in the UK do not provide one.

“All schools are required to make their uniform affordable for all, and families should speak to their child’s school if this is not the case. Our approach is to help families who are facing exceptional circumstances, such as a house fire, to access help for their child’s school uniform should they need it.

“Rather than offering support for children in specific year groups or attending maintained schools only, our arrangements enable families, irrespective of the child’s age or the type of school their child attends, to apply for assistance with school clothing. The payments are intended to contribute towards the cost of school uniform for those families who are facing exceptional circumstances.

“Deciding to increase next year’s budget will mean that we can support more families of children attending Nottinghamshire schools if they need our help.”

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