Date lodged: 9 June 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how much can be awarded in school clothing grants, and what the average award is (a) nationally and (b) broken down by local authority.
Answered by: John Swinney 16 June 2016
The Education (Scotland) Act introduced a provision to allow Scottish Ministers to make regulations to require local authorities to pay a minimum amount of school clothing grants to families or young people. The detail of the amount of grant and the eligibility criteria would be set out in regulations. We plan to agree the criteria and amount in partnership with COSLA and discussions between COSLA and the Scottish Government on this issue are continuing to this effect.
Crucially, this policy will also provide consistency of approach across Scotland. While local authorities currently have a general duty to make provision, it is clear from our discussions with a number of organisations that there is inconsistency across Scotland and it is unacceptable that any child loses out. Detail on the level of grant currently awarded by individual local authorities is not collated centrally.