Huge stress on parents
Extraordinary financial pressures mean some parents can’t afford to cloth their children in preparation for the schools returning, a leading charity has warned.
Schools will reopen from 11 August with eligible pupils given a minimum £100 school clothing grant, while some primary school starters eligible for a further £250.
Some 120,000 children and young people benefit annually from the School Clothing Grant, which is jointly funded by the Scottish government and local authorities.
However the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland (CPAG) is calling on local authorities to increase the grant where needed because of the extraordinary financial pressures covid has created.
John Dickie, CPAG’s director, said: “We're particularly keen to urge local authorities and national government to work together to increase the value of those school clothing grants or provide additional grants this year in recognition of the extraordinary extra financial pressures that families are facing."
The Gate charity which runs a uniform bank from Alloa Town Hall said demand has steadily increased with hundreds of families coming to it for support.
They said the service was needed more than ever this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools relaxed the rules on uniforms when pupils were due to return part time.
However, with pupils set to return full time, some schools say they will be expecting full uniform from day one.
Others, like Monifieth High School in Angus, are staying with a more relaxed uniform for the time being.
The school has given every pupil a free hoodie in school colours, with the option to buy more.
A Scottish government spokesman said: "We know school uniforms can be a considerable cost for families - especially this year in light of the impacts of coronavirus.
"We believe every child in Scotland should be able to attend school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.
"Working with Cosla, we will review the value of the School Clothing Grant for 2021-22 to ensure that it continues to provide the level of support needed."