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Uniform grants

2 December 2015

In exceptional circumstances, an award will be made for a school uniform grant (secondary) or a clothing allowance (primary).  You should also consider other forms of financial support. 


  • The child for whom an application is made must be attending an Essex maintained primary or secondary school
  • You, the parent or carer must be able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances and low income


In addition, you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
  • Income Support
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an annual income of less than £16,190
  • The Guaranteed Element of Pension Credit


    You may be eligible for a clothing grant if you meet one of these criteria in addition to demonstrating low income (these are examples, other exceptional circumstances will also be considered):


  • Enforced re-housing and an associated move of school - e.g. the property being unsafe to live in, or the housing department enforcing the move. A letter from the housing department would be needed as evidence. If the application had any choice in the move, then they will not be eligible
  • Parent and children in a refuge necessitating a change of school. The location of the refuge or circumstances must lead to the child/ren not being able to reasonably attend the previous school. A letter from the Women’s Aid would be needed as evidence
  • Enforced move of school through bullying, generally with evidence of physical harm. The school’s anti-bullying process must have been followed. A letter from the previous school’s headteacher would be needed as evidence
  • Exceptional circumstances requiring the replacement of uniform or the need for additional clothing. Low income alone is not an exceptional circumstance. Qualifying circumstances include fire damage, flood damage, theft etc. A letter from the Education Welfare Officer would be needed as evidence
  • How to apply

    For an application form, please contact the Education Transport and Awards team on 0345 603 2200 or email
    Evidence of receipt of a qualifying benefit and evidence of the exceptional circumstances will be required with the completed application form (details of appropriate evidence are listed on the application form). 

    Other financial support 

    Family Action

    Family Action (was the Family Welfare Association) no longer administers a uniform grant, but can give advice on other assistance which may be available for families with financial difficulties. Contact 020 7254 6251, or visit

    The Frank Buttle Trust

    The Frank Buttle Trust (in association with BBC Children in Need) no longer provides grants towards the cost of uniforms, but still offers other grants for children in difficult circumstances. Contact 020 7828 7311. 


    An organisation that helps people to ensure that they are receiving all appropriate welfare benefits. Offers details of hundreds of grant-giving charities (national, regional and local) that may be able to provide financial support and other services.  Visit or contact the free and confidential helpline 0808 802 2000 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm).