Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has raised concerns over reports that there have been serious delays in school clothing grant payments in West Dunbartonshire.
Many families who are on low incomes wait until they receive their school clothing grant before buying new school uniform for their children. Jackie has been contacted by local parents who have informed her that only some parents, who are entitled to school clothing grants, have received the money and others have been asked to provide more information to the council regarding their financial circumstances. These parents have not been given any indication of when they will receive the grant.
The delay in payments now means that some pupils may not have the uniform that they need for when schools return on 11 August. This is because school uniform suppliers – in particular, those who supply school badge-branded items – had an order deadline of last week to ensure that the products would be ready for the new school term beginning.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“West Dunbartonshire Council is all too aware of the extent to which local people have been economically affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
“It is disappointing that, during a time of such great financial uncertainty, the council has failed to provide some parents with the vital grants that they need in time.
“Parents may need to choose between sending their children to school in ill-fitting or incomplete uniforms or spending money that they had budgeted for other things like bills and food, in order that their children are properly kitted out.
“West Dunbartonshire Council need to ensure that grants are made on time to avoid people, who are struggling because of the economic impact of covid-19, suffering more.”