Do I qualify for a school uniform grant? Parents can get up to £200 to cover costs from July

Hundreds of councils are helping parents cover school uniform costs this year and thousands of parents are eligible for the help

Child putting on school uniform
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thousands of parents across the UK are eligible for a £200 school uniform grant that will help cover the costs of back to school season - and you can apply for the help this month. 

The school summer holidays may not have yet started for many, but the impending worry over back to school season in September and all the costs associated will likely have many parents worried. From the best new school shoes and school uniforms there's a lot to consider. 

But thousands of families are unknowingly eligible for a school uniform grant. These grants are handed out by all local councils in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as by some in England. They're awarded to parents on a low income and can give families up to £200 to go towards covering uniform costs. 

As the grants are handed out on a local level, the eligibility rules vary from authority to authority. However, most require the family to be claiming benefits or receiving free school meals, though do check with your local council as some do not require this.  Some councils also consider the age of a child when determining eligibility. 

In England, not all councils give out these grants and the amount they award each family can vary wildly.  For example, the City of London council offer secondary school pupils a grant worth £160, while families who live in the constituency of West Northamptonshire council  get no help at all with school uniform costs. 

In Scotland, the approach is more universal as all their councils provide grants worth at least £120 for primary school children and £150 for secondary school students, and they often pay more than this to many families. 

Similarly, all councils in Wales will award grants worth £125 to students and those who are leaving primary education to go up to secondary school get an extra £75.

You can apply for the grants through the GOV.UK website from July onwards. 

As families prepare for back to school season, we explore how you can save money on back to school costs and find creative ways to tackle back-to-school shopping without buying everything brand new. Plus, the Marks and Spencer school uniform sale is now on and our shopping editor says it's the best place to shop for uniform this year

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.