Get help with school uniform costs: how to apply for the school uniforms government grant 2020

get help with school uniform costs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The government school uniform grant was first introduced to the UK in 1980, to help lower-income families with the cost of school uniforms and make education more accessible to all. But what help is being offered for school uniform costs for 2020?

This year, the government grant is still being issued in many boroughs around the country as the rising costs meant that an average child’s school uniform sat at over £200 in 2015. Now schools are reopening to all students in September, families are soon to be on the look out for some of the best deals on school uniform (opens in new tab)

READ MORE: Back to school: What safety measures are in place and how can children protect themselves? (opens in new tab)

So how do you apply to get help with school uniform costs? And how much of a discount does the government grant off? Find out everything you need to know about the scheme for 2020 and help with school uniforms here… 

How to apply for the school uniform government grant and get help with school uniform costs

Luckily, applying for the grant for the government is a relatively easy process. Head over to the government website (opens in new tab), where you can choose your country and you’ll be asked to enter your postcode. When matched, you’ll be taken to your local borough’s website where you’ll be able to apply for the school uniform grant.

As only some boroughs in the UK offer the grant, alongside free school meals and the travel grant, it’s entirely based on where you live as to whether you’re eligible for the grant. 

Applications opened on June 30 and will close again for the year on September 30, so you can still apply even after the school year has begun but it’s important to be quick. 

How much is the school uniform grant 2020?

boy getting ready for school - school uniform government grant 2020

Credit: Getty

The government’s school uniform grant gives you up to £150 off your child’s school uniform for the year, however it does differ in different areas of the country. 

In one London borough for instance, children can get the full £150 off their school uniform while in York, there is a £70 discount on uniforms offered by the government. 

In Scotland, unlike England, the grant is compulsory and it must be offered in all areas with authorities made to pay at least £100 to qualifying families. While in Wales, families are eligible for £125 or £200 for children going into year 7. 

The best way to find out how much the school uniform grant offers, head over the government website and search via your postcode. 

But be aware that in the last year, many local authorities - such as some in Cornwall, Cambridgeshire, Northumberland and Stockton - have cut their funding for the school uniform grant with councils in no longer the grant. 

Nottinghamshire now only offers the grant for children with educational needs, according to the Mirror. 

Who can apply for the grant?

To apply for the school uniform grant, your annual income needs to be less than £16,190 and you must be already receiving at least one government benefit. 

These benefits could include:

  • Universal credit 
  • Income based Job Seeker’s allowance
  • Income support
  • Employment Support allowance (ESA)
  • Child tax credit
  • State pension - but it has to be your only source of income
  • Monetary support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

You also have to prove, through bank statements showing receipt of child benefit, that you are the one legally responsible for your child. 

It also does not apply to children who attend academies as these are privately owned. 

Where can you spend the grant

girl in school uniform in classroom

Credit: Getty

As the school uniform government grant for 2020 is offered in the form of a cheque, going into a current account, you can buy school uniform and supplies from wherever you choose. 

Popular options include Morrisons, who are our top pick for school uniforms of 2020 (opens in new tab), along with classic favourites such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. 

Aldi is also once again offering their incredible school uniform bundle at only £4 this year. It includes two polo shirts, a sweatshirt and a skirt or trousers, plus they have other amazing deals on sports kits and stationary supplies.

Along with school uniform, the money can be used to assist children’s education in other ways by paying for school trips or equipment. 

What if my borough doesn't offer the grant?

If you are unable to apply for the grant for this reason, the Department for Education recommends that you personally reach out to the school for financial support. 

While many boroughs still offer the grant and it’s compulsory in Scotland, in England others have cut their budgets and no longer offer the grant. 

As well as this, since you have to reapply every year for the school uniform government grant, in some cases local councils will only offer the grant once per child.

Grace Walsh
Features Writer

Grace Walsh is a Features Writer for, covering breaking news health stories during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as lifestyle and entertainment topics.  She has worked in media since graduating from the University of Warwick in 2019 with a degree in Classical Civilisation and a year spent abroad in Italy. It was here that Grace caught the bug for journalism, after becoming involved in the university’s student newspaper and radio station.