For families struggling with money issues in Scotland, coronavirus has been tough.

Job losses and drops in income mean many families are finding it hard to pay for food and other essentials, and now that schools have gone back it might feel like there are even more costs you’re struggling to meet.

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We’ve had some help from our pals at Child Poverty Action Group Scotland to tell you about 3 things that might help you and your family with costs like school uniform, travel to school and lunch. This info could be helpful whether your family have been facing money issues for a long time, or if the money issues have started during coronavirus.

3 things to help with the cost of the school day:

  1. Free school meals: Even if you weren’t getting free school meals before lockdown, if coronavirus has led to your family’s income going down, then you can apply for free school meals. Your parents/carers can ask the school about this.
  2. School clothing grants: If your family is on a low income you might also be able to get a grant to help cover costs of buying school uniform. If you’re eligible for free school meals, then you’ll usually be able to get this school clothing grant too. TIP! Check in with your school, they might offer school uniform clothes swaps or the chance to buy new or nearly new uniforms cheaply.  
  3. Education maintenance allowance: If you’re aged 16-19, your family are on a low income, and you want to continue with learning at school or college, you can apply for education maintenance allowance which gives you £30 a week. Even if schools and colleges have to close again because of coronavirus, you could still get these payments to help you carry on your studies. Find out if you’re eligible and apply for Education Maintenance Allowance here.

And remember…

No matter how much money your family has, you should be able to join in at school the same way as everyone else. If you and your family are struggling to pay for any school costs, talk to the school as they may be able to make suggestions that will help.

Ask CPAG: for more info check out this Child Poverty Action Group Scotland briefing for families about meeting the costs of the school day during coronavirus