Campaign to keep the Angus Council school clothing grant

Members of the Scottish Socialist Party on Arbroath High Street
Members of the Scottish Socialist Party on Arbroath High Street

Members of the Scottish Socialist Party were campaigning this week to stop Angus Council doing away with its school clothing grant.

The grant is currently set at £20 per child. The Socialist party claims this is the lowest rate in Scotland and that the local authority plans to scrap it next year.

Representatives were on Arbroath High Street on Monday handing out leaflets and asking people to sign a petition asking the council to keep and increase the funding.

The party says thousands of parents in Angus rely on the school clothing grant and it is planning to make this the focus of its campaign against local budget cuts over the coming months.

The leaflet states: “Parents in Angus can receive a grant of just £20 towards the cost of school clothes — despite research showing the average uniform costs around £129.

“While some councils offer a grant of up to £110, Angus has the lowest in Scotland. Worse, they’re planning to scrap it by 2017.”

Janet Addis, spokesperson for the Scottish Socialist Party said: “The response has been positive.

“One woman was shocked that it was just £20 and that there are plans to scrap it.

“It’s people on the lowest income that get hit the hardest and get hit first.

“You wouldn’t be able to get a decent pair of shoes for £20.

“People won’t buy second hand for fears their children may get bullied.”

The party plans to take its campaign to high streets across Angus.

An Angus Council spokesman said: “Financial constraints meant difficult decisions had to be taken, such as they were in 2014.

“Even then, we sought to make the school uniform as affordable as possible and schools were able to make their own local arrangements to ensure we complied with our responsibilities.”

“The harsh economic realities have not improved but we are currently looking in detail at ways in which we can 
improve our school clothing allowance and will put forward a committee report shortly.”