Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has written to East Lothian Council asking that it increases its school clothing grants to £70.
The MSP made the request to council chiefs following a freedom of information request from his office which showed that the council failed to meet the minimum recommended grant of £70.
The FOI also showed that East Lothian Council’s 2014/15 clothing grant has decreased by nearly 10% from the previous financial year.
Mr Hume said:
“Some parents are really struggling to get by and the cost of school clothing for a growing child can often be too much for households on limited means.
“Back in 2009 a government working group recommended a minimum award for a clothing grant should be £70, but East Lothian Council is falling short.
“Everyone understands that budgets are tight, but all I’m asking the Council to do - and all parents would expect - is to make a commitment that it will meet the recommended minimum clothing grant.”
Notes to editors:
A copy of Mr Hume’s FOI is shown below,
East Lothian Council
FOI Ref: 2015/822(8580)
* How many school children in East Lothian received a clothing grant and how much was awarded for each child in the financial year ending 2015?
East Lothian Council (ELC) does not process Clothing Grant applications by financial year; they are processed by academic year. In academic year 2014/15 a total of 1,158 children received a clothing grant. 378 received a grant at £65 and 780 received a grant at £60.
* What was the total sum of money in the clothing grant broken down by each of the years from 2011 – 2015? This is the total sum of money the Council awarded (as a sum of all the individual grants) in each of those financial years.