Increased threshold for Clacks Council School Shoes and Clothing Grant
MORE families are set to receive shoe and clothing subsidies in Wee County after councilors agree to a policy change.
Parents who receive Child Benefit as well as Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit will be able to access the grant if they earn less than £17,005 a year.
Previously, the eligibility criteria meant that parents who received both tax credits could only apply if they had an annual income of up to £7,920.
The change was unanimously approved by councilors at a meeting on August 11.
It comes as Clackmannanshire sought to align its policy with most neighboring authorities and the change will support families from the next 2022-23 academic term with applications open since June.
Supporting the move, council leader Ellen Forson told the Kilncraigs Chamber: ‘As part of our manifesto, the SNP group was doing a bit of research into different areas where we support children and as soon as it has been brought to our attention that we have another set of rules from neighboring authorities, we presented it for service, we asked for a change to be made.
“I’m really happy to see that here, especially since we are so focused on tackling poverty and child poverty in the region, it would be a mistake not to.”
Applications for grants opened in June, along with applications for free school meals, and the council has already received 929.
It was noted that 80 of the applications were rejected because the parents found themselves above the income threshold.
Cllr Forson added that she would like the board to proactively reach out to those who missed this route.
“It’s the right thing to do and it’s completely aligned with our priorities,” she added.
The grants, of £120 for children of primary school age and £150 for secondary school children up to the age of 16, are available to those receiving Child Benefit as well as children. one of the seven other eligible benefits.
These include IS; JSA; ESA; Child tax credit; work tax credit; those who have received Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or Universal Credit with a monthly income not exceeding £660.
Young people over the age of 16 can access the School Maintenance Allowance of £30 per week.
While 80 applications were refused due to the previous policy, it is not known how many parents did not apply due to the income threshold.
It is not yet clear how many will become eligible through the change in policy, but council documents explained that, based on the experiences of other local authorities, the total grant disbursed in the year would be £241,000 .
This would see the budget exceeded by £8,000, which would be managed under the budget delegated to the strategic director of people.
Families can apply for our footwear and clothing grant at www.clacks.gov.uk/learning/schoolclothinggrants/