Clothing grant for pre-school pupils faces axe

Clothing grants of £40 paid out to parents and carers of pre-school children will become a thing of the past if councillors wave through a change to SIC policy on Wednesday.

Members of the education and families committee are being asked to cease paying a £40 grant to 30 parents and carers of pre-school pupils. It would save £1,200 a year.

A report from Hayfield House officials states: “The provision of clothing grant for pre-schoolchildren is quite unusual for local authorities in Scotland, and removing this from Shetland Islands Council’s policy would bring us in line with almost all other local authorities.”

There are no plans to remove a £50 grant to 112 secondary-aged pupils (costing £5,600 a year) and £45 grants paid to 230 primary school children (costing £10,350 a year).

Grants to pre-school pupils were introduced in May 2009 after the council ceased paying a grant to S5 and S6 pupils. That decision was taken on the grounds that children in the latter stages of secondary school are eligible to apply for education maintenance allowance.


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