Uniform grants in Fife will “hit parents hard”

Fife Council is directing parents to buy school uniforms from budget supermarkets, such as Aldi (above)
Fife Council is directing parents to buy school uniforms from budget supermarkets, such as Aldi (above)
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Fife Council has been blasted by one of its councillors for failing to raise the value of school uniform grants.

Figures published by the Poverty Truth Commission show that Fife’s grant of £55 is lower than the Scottish average and significantly below the ‘actual cost’ of £129.50

West Lothian, Dundee, East Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire all pay £100.

Fife Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Councillor James Calder said: “This is going to hit hard the finances of parents from the poorest backgrounds. School uniforms should not be cripplingly expensive for anyone.

“Fife Council should urgently look into this to ensure that school uniforms are affordable for all. I call on the SNP/Labour Administration to review this as a matter of urgency.”

In response Cllr Fay Sinclair, Education and Children’s Services convener, said all parents knew that kitting children out to begin the new school year came at a cost.

“For those on lower incomes it can be a huge strain on the family budget,” she added. “However, our schools continually review their uniform policy with parents, and it is generally accepted that in the long run a school uniform can provide better value for money .

“Many schools already provide uniform banks where good quality, second hand uniforms are available and there are lots of low-cost options at supermarkets and elsewhere.

“Council officers are currently preparing a report on the ‘Cost of the School Day’ and we are working with schools to make sure that costs ie uniform, equipment, trips etc are affordable for all.

“We have also simplified the grants process, where many who are eligible will now automatically receive it, to make things much easier for families.”