West Lothian pupils set to benefit from increased clothing grants
School pupils in West Lothian are set to benefit from an increase in school clothing grants beginning in the academic year 2018/19.
A recent meeting of West Lothian Council Executive saw an agreement to increase the level of grant given to both primary and secondary school pupils. This follows a joint commitment from COSLA and the Scottish Government to provide additional funding towards a £100 minimum school clothing grant for eligible families across Scotland.
Overall annual costs are expected to reach £12 million with 50% of the cost met by additional Scottish Government funding and 50% met by individual local authorities.
As part of the commitment, West Lothian will receive additional funding of £210,000 and Council Executive agreed to increase the level of grant for primary school pupils from £94 to £125 and secondary pupils from £110 to £135.
Currently West Lothian has the highest school clothing grant allowance in Scotland with a total of £626,713 spent during the financial year 2017/18. During the year a total of 6,031 pupils received clothing grants in West Lothian of which 4,065 were primary pupils and 2,236 pupils were secondary.
Any money left over from the additional funding will be held in reserve to offset any increase in the uptake of the clothing grant during the 2018/19 financial year.
Executive councilor for education, David Dodds said: "We welcome the announcement from COSLA and the Scottish Government on providing additional funding towards a national minimum clothing grant. In West Lothian we are firmly committed to minimising the impact of poverty through our anti-poverty strategy and the additional funding will be directed to this as we increase the level of grant available to our pupils who are most in need."