Every child in Falkirk will be able to attend school with a proper uniform from now on - thanks to a £201,000 share of a new national clothing grant.
That was the promise from the Scottish Government this week, with news of a scheme reckoned set to benefit around 120,000 families across the country with a £100 minimum grant.
The scheme could ease the pressure on school uniform banks that have become increasingly common in food banks and other voluntary initiatives
The uniform grant is the result of a partnership between the Scottish Government and local councils, and will begin in time for the 2018-19 academic year.
To be eligible, families must meet criteria by qualifying for: Income Support; Income-based Job Seekers Allowance; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Child Tax Credit only with a gross annual income below £16,105; Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with a gross annual income below £16,105; or Universal Credit monthly earned income of not more than £1,342.
Overall annual costs are expected to reach £12 million across Scotland, with half of the cost met by additional Scottish Government funding and half met by individual local authorities.
The grant will be reviewed every two years to ensure that the amount available remains in line with cost of living.
Education cabinet minister John Swinney said: “Every child in Scotland should be able to attend school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.
“We know that school uniforms can be a considerable cost for families, which is why we have worked in partnership with COSLA to introduce a new national minimum school clothing grant.
“It will help relieve pressure on families, reduce costs of living and remove the stress and stigma which can often be associated with struggling to afford essential school items.”