Council considers slashing school uniform allowance

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Councillors in St Helens are considering a plan to stop offering low income families help with buying school uniforms.

Town hall chiefs say they have been forced to take the drastic measure after suffering almost £1m worth of cuts to its education services grant.

The report will be considered by St Helens Council’s cabinet next Wednesday (October 26).

It says the council has no statutory duty to support uniform costs and cutting the funding will help the authority balance the books.

At present, children who receive free school meals are entitled to apply.

Youngsters aged four to 10 get £29.50 and those between the ages of 11 and 15 get £44.

The report states: “Historically the school uniform clothing allowance was introduced at a time when school uniforms were relatively expensive.

“This was because parents had no option but to purchase uniforms from specialist providers.

“Now school uniforms are more universally available from high street stores and supermarkets at significantly lower prices.”