Increase in NI school uniform grant ‘just isn’t enough’, says parents’ campaign group

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A parent-led campaign group has mentioned that the 20% improve promised for Northern Ireland’s school uniform grant “just isn’t enough” relating to the ‘actual’ price of uniforms right here.

peaking to the BBC Naomi McBurney from the Parent Engagement Group mentioned that on the floor, “it seems like a significant uplift”, however that “it will probably be absorbed due to the cost of inflation and parents are not going to benefit from it”.

Currently, the grant charge for a main school uniform is £35.75. This will rise to £42.90 with the £1m funding introduced ahead by education Minister Michelle McIlveen on Monday.

Uniform grant charges will even improve from £51 for pupils underneath 15 to £61.20, and from £56 to £67.20 for these over the age of 16.

Eligibility for the grant is identical for many who qualify at no cost school meals for his or her kids – dad and mom who’re on low revenue and are claiming sure welfare allowances, akin to tax credit, common credit score, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and quite a lot of different advantages.

“It doesn’t consider those that are just above that £16,000 on tax credits, or £14,000 on Universal Credit, which is not a lot of money given the cost of living crisis that we’re facing at the moment,” Ms McBurney advised BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

She additionally burdened that “this isn’t a cost of living issue”, relatively an issue that has been ongoing for quite a lot of years and “is continuing to grow”.

The former UUP candidate added that for school uniform grants in Wales and Scotland, for main school kids, dad and mom obtain £130.

For post-primary that quantity rises to round £285-291 – per little one, per 12 months.

“Our research indicated that per primary school child [here], parents are facing approximately £173 per child average costs and £378 for post-primary.”

In 2017, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People requested school principals throughout the area to “make sure that parents are able to avail of the most affordable options for school uniforms and are not required to purchase expensive items from particular suppliers, or from your school directly if this is your policy”.

Ms McBurney welcomed the step and mentioned that the training-40732628/” class=”-as:2″ data-vars-category=”Content Link” data-vars-action=”In-Article” data-vars-label=”Northern Ireland|41772985|commonplace”>Department of education “points towards considering affordability”, however famous that politicians should assist implement statutory steerage across the concern.

“The political will just didn’t seem to be supporting it, however we are seeing manifesto commitments from parties to make that change. We need a functioning government [to support that],” the Co Down mom continued.

“Unfortunately, we see that there’s a lot of parents that are missing out, that are just above the threshold and it’s them that are going to feel the real pinch this year.”

The Department of education has been contacted for a response to Ms McBurney’s feedback. 

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