School clothing and footwear grants go up from £45 to £70

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam.
Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam.

School clothing and footwear grants for Borders parents and carers are to go up from £45 to £70 in line with Scottish Government recommendations.

Scottish Borders Council agreed to the increase following discussions with headteachers over the summer and after receiving information on payment levels across Scotland.

Councillor Shona Haslam, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “I very much welcome the swift action that has been taken to increase this grant. As a mum I know how much it can cost to kit out children for the start of the school term and this increase will benefit the most vulnerable children in our area.

“The fund will be back-dated for this school year, so anyone who has already received the lower amount will have it topped up. I am very grateful for officers for acting so quickly to rectify this situation and hope that this will help give families peace of mind.”

Councillors also agreed to work with school staff and partners on tackling child poverty issues before March 2018.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, said: “One in five children in the Scottish Borders are affected by poverty on a daily basis and we are committed to tackling this through a range of measures, just one of which is increasing the school clothing and footwear grant.

“Work has been going on with our headteachers to increase the awareness and understanding of child poverty and its impact on educational outcomes.”