Money Matters: Back to School
This week our Debt & Energy Manager Dan Bebbington looks at the support available to families as children get ready to go back to school.
It's hard to believe that the school holidays are nearly over.
Retailers are promoting ‘Back to School’ deals, and we understand what an expensive time it can be for families.
Many of the large and discount food stores have some amazing deals on uniform, and it’s a great idea to plan ahead, buying what you can every week, in preparation for September.
For example, Aldi are currently promoting a wide range of school wear, from jumpers to trousers, skirts to shoes and polo shirts – even starting that you can get a whole uniform for just £5. They also sell backpacks & stationary at affordable prices.
Adding one or two items every week to your shopping will help to spread the cost and save the last-minute panic when the new term is looming.
Some local councils provide help with the cost of school uniform and PE kit. And if your council does not offer help, ask your child’s school directly.
Your local school may offer extra support for families or may have items they can gift to you.
Or why not get together with local parents, and have a ‘swop shop’? As your kids grow out of their shoes or uniform, other family’s children may be just growing into them. And its well worth checking out local Facebook pages to see if items for specific schools (such as jumpers and book bags) are being gifted, or sold on cheaply.
We work closely with Telford Crisis Support and they carry a very wide range of pre-loved items covering the majority of schools in Telford, available for free. There is no specific criteria that needs to be met when asking for uniform. You can apply online at Telford Crisis Support – Volunteer led since 2013
Little Stars Baby Bank in Shropshire have also extended their support to offer donated school uniforms and PE kits to those who need them. You can contact them on www.littlestarsbabybank.co.uk
And if you have uniform that your children have grown out of, why not donate it to a local scheme to help other families?
If you are worrying about the cost of uniform, please don’t forget about ‘Free School Meals’! School meals or packed lunches can be expensive, and every little helps in these difficult times. If you think you may be eligible, contact your local council, ask the school directly or visit www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
It’s really important to apply if you are eligible, as it also means your child’s school will receive additional funding to improve education outcomes for pupils.
And if your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023, so there is no need to keep re-applying.
We have helped many families with school uniforms over the years, and this summer is no different. Wrekin customers should contact our friendly Money Matters Team to see how we can help.
22nd August 2022