PARENTS struggling with rising prices could claim cash worth up to £200 to cover back to school costs.

Grants to help mums and dads pay for school uniform at the start of the new school year are up for grabs in many places.

Local councils across the UK offer school clothing grants to households struggling to afford new uniforms.

But parents face a postcode lottery when it comes to getting the cash as the amount can vary depending on where you live – and in some places there's nothing at all.

When and how to apply, as well as who is eligible for the payment will also depend on your location.

Under the Education Act 1990, local authorities have the power to provide financial help to parents on low incomes to assist them with buying school clothing for their children.

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But this is not a statutory duty in England.

This means parents face a postcode lottery – as each council chooses whether to offer support, who is eligible and what items they will pay for.

The system is different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where councils are required to offer assistance.

Every parent should check what they can get though.

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With school uniforms costing on average £337 per child, according to The Children's Society, the cash could offer a much-needed boost.

It comes as many face rising costs, from energy bills to food. Here we explain what you could get and how to claim.

Who is eligible for the school uniform grant?

School uniform grants are typically available for people on benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseeker's allowance and child tax credits.

Children who qualify for free school meals will usually also qualify for uniform help – as long as it’s offered by your council.

In some cases, financial support will depend on your child’s age or what type of school they are attending.

How much is the school uniform grant in England?

In England, not every council offers the school uniform grant.

Your best bet to find out if your local authority does is by using the government's finder tool.

If your local council doesn't offer any support, you can always ask your child’s school directly.

The Sun approached 148 councils in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and 52 responded.

The amount they offer ranges from £62 to £150 per child.

One of the councils offering £150 is Greenwich Borough Council, in London, and you will get a grant if you currently receive a qualifying benefit.

A qualifying benefit is something such as an income-related employment and support allowance, income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or state pension credit.

In addition, to be eligible, your child must attend a "council maintained school". This is a school managed by Greenwich Council.

What your child is entitled to will depend on their age.

You can apply for a grant on Greenwich Council's website.

The deadline to apply for a grant in England will vary depending on the council, so it's best to check out your local authority's website.

How much is the school uniform grant in Wales?

In Wales, the "Pupil Development Grant" is funded by government and then allocated by local councils.

Pupils currently eligible for free school meals can apply for the grant of £125 per pupil, and upto £200 for students entering Year 7.

Families who are eligible for free school meals can submit a claim if they have a child in:

  • primary school from reception to Year 6
  • secondary school from Year 7 to 11.

Families are only entitled to claim once per child, per school year.

All "looked after" children qualify for the grant, whether they receive free school meals or not.

A looked after child or young person is someone who is being cared for by their local authority.

The Welsh government's website said funding for the 2022/23 academic year would open in the summer and to apply for the grant you must contact your local authority.

Meanwhile, funding for the 2021 to 2022 scheme will close on June 30.

How much is the school uniform grant in Northern Ireland?

In Northern Ireland, likewise, the funding comes centrally, from the Education Authority.

The grants you are entitled to will depend on your child's age and what type of school they attend – but the maximum you could get is £78.

You will be eligible for one of the grants if you receive of one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit

The application process for the 2022/23 academic year has changed and you must now register and create an account before applying.

The application must be made by the person receiving benefits who is named on the Proof of Benefit Letter / Tax Credits Award Notice / Universal Credit Payments Breakdown.

For more information, you can visit the Education Authority's website.

How much is the school uniform grant in Scotland?

In Scotland, households can get help with school clothing and shoes and you must apply through your local council.

You can find your local council and whether it offers the grant on the Scottish government's website.

The grant is usually a cash grant paid directly into your bank account.

The amount of money you'll get and who can apply will depend on your council, but everybody who gets a school clothing grant will get at least:

  • £120 per child who is of primary school age
  • £150 per child of secondary school age

Most councils will accept applications from July until the end of March, but it's worth checking your local authority's website for further details.

You get one school clothing grant payment each year.

Some of the councils offering the grant this year include Aberdeen City Council, Edinburgh Council and Fife Council.

Extra help with school uniform costs

There are some other options if you live in an area where you're not entitled to a uniform grant, or need extra help.

For example, you can always try approaching your nearest Citizens' Advice branch.

If you don't know where your nearest Citizens' Advice branch is, you can use its branch locator.

You may also be redirected to a local charity, including the Salvation Army, where you can buy clothes.

Failing that, you can always approach your child's school.

Sometimes they might be able to sell you a uniform that has been used before at a reduced rate.

Some charities give grants to help with the costs of education.

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But bear in mind they often have a limited amount of money to give and usually have specific criteria which must be met in order to get a grant.

Charity Turn2Us has a free grants search tool so you can find out what help is available to you.

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