A £150 grant to help families with the cost of school uniform is not available for Oxfordshire parents.

Families contacting Oxfordshire County Council to enquire about the cash will be told the money is not available.

A spokesperson for the council said the grant was withdrawn in 2010, over a decade ago.

The spokesperson added that it is school governing boards, together with headteachers, staff and parents, who decide whether the school should have a uniform policy, while some schools offer support so should be contacted directly.

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Across the county, various Facebook groups offer the chance to donate uniform items, in addition to buying and selling items.

Although not an exhaustive list, these groups operate in Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, and Kidlington, with another – School Uniform for sale Witney, Bampton, Aston, Carterton area – covering West Oxfordshire.

In England, the school uniform grant is not a statutory right, and in recent years, many councils have scrapped or reduced it due to lack of funding.

That is the case in many of Oxfordshire’s surrounding counties whereby councils do not offer the grant.

Local authorities in Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire no longer provide the grant, and advise parents and carers to contact their school.

Gloucestershire County Council advises that the uniform grant is now controlled by individual schools, while Warwickshire County Council urges people to contact schools directly for information on in-house support schemes.

Buckinghamshire Council and Wiltshire Council offer similar advice, with the latter encouraging parents and guardians to contact schools or parent teacher associations.

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To be eligible for the grant, a household must have an annual income of less than £16,190 per year, or be receiving benefits such as income-based jobseeker’s allowance, child tax credit, Employment and Support Allowance, or Universal Credit.

In April, a new law was passed which required schools to follow Government statutory guidance on school uniform costs.

The Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021 instructs schools to keep prices down.

The act also includes measures on encouraging second-hand uniform, schools’ arrangements with suppliers, and ensuring parents have access to clear information about uniform policies.

MP Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, said of the act: “School uniforms are important in establishing the right ethos in a school.

“They also help to improve behaviour and a sense of belonging and identity, but we want to be sure they are affordable for parents.

“This new law will help to save families money and ensure the cost of a blazer or shirt is never a barrier to accessing the best possible education.”