School Uniform can be expensive if you have a child or young person with a disability or additional needs as you often need to have multiple sets – which can include jumpers, blazers, PE Kit or polo shirts etc. that display the school logo.
Hampshire County Council is unable to provide money to help with your child’s uniform. Speak to your child’s school if you are having difficulties buying uniform. They may be able to help.
The Government has produced guidance for schools and academies and their governing bodies when determining their own school uniform policies. The general recommendation is that if you are unhappy with your child or young person’s individual schools’ policy then you should challenge this with their governing body. The following sections of this guidance may help to support you in doing this:
We strongly recommend that in setting its uniform/appearance policy the governing body:
Once a policy has been agreed, we recommend that the governing body:
When considering how the school uniform should be sourced:
We would therefore suggest that you request a copy of your child or young person’s School Uniform Policy. It will also help to request information or for more details on the following:
- Whether there is a preferred supplier list and their pricing for individual items with logos
- Whether this supplier will allow for uniform to be paid for in instalments
- If your child or young person’s school have a hardship fund for uniform
- If they have a second-hand uniform scheme
The Government guidance suggests contacting your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help you to challenge your school’s policy if you feel that this is unfair, or you are being forced to purchase expensive items of uniform. To find your local branch of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau visit: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau will also be able to advise on any grants or loans that you may be eligible for as a family.
The following organisations may be able to provide more support, advice and information:
- Turn2Us: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/ have information on grants, funding and benefits. They also have a benefits and grants calculator which can be found here: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou. To get the best from this service they request that you create an account with them: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/My-Turn2us.
- Contact a Family: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/ offer advice and information on benefits and financial support. They have a section on their website on Benefits and Tax Credits: https://contact.org.uk/advice-and-support/benefits-financial-help/ Their Money Matters Guide is also available: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/media/770810/money_matters.pdf. Contact their helpline on: 0808 808 3555 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5.00pm)
- Carer’s Together: http://www.carerstogether.org.uk/ advise on available benefits and financial support. They can be contacted on 01794 519495 (Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm) or email@example.com.
- The Bright Side of Life offers funding for school uniform – however due to the nature and demand for this type of funding they have some very strict eligibility criteria: http://www.thebrightsideoflife.org.uk/grant-making-policy/. We have summarised this below:
Our new policy is that applications for school uniform will only be considered where the applicant satisfies the following conditions:
- Details of the uniform, including supplier and cost, is provided;
- Other funding, such as a Local Council or school grant, is not available;
- Evidence of financial need;
- Evidence of another disadvantage is also provided.
Unfortunately, even within this criteria not all eligible applicants will be successful due to the large demand for school uniform funding and the fact that they try not to place limits on the amount of funding a family can receive for uniform.
- Lion Clubs: http://www.lionsclubs.co/ may be able to help your family by giving a small grant. They can be contacted using their general helpline: 0845 833 9502 or http://lionsclubs.co/Public/contact-us/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rotary Clubs: http://www.rotarygbi.org/ may be able to help your family by giving a small grant. Individual clubs can be found by visiting; http://www.rotarygbi.org/club-finder/.