MORAY has been allocated an additional £70,000 school clothing grant by the Scottish Government.
An estimated 120,000 families will benefit from a new £100 national minimum school clothing grant across Scotland as a result of partnership working with local authorities including Moray Council.
Councillors have welcomed the funding that will more than double the value of the School Clothing Grant in Moray.
Councillor Louise Laing (Speyside Glenlivet), said: "This is great news for low-income families struggling with the costs of providing school uniforms, which, when you take into account PE kit as well as the regular uniform, can run into significant sums of money.
"Moray has the third lowest level of School Clothing Grant out of Scotland’s 32 councils. This additional funding
helps to ensure that children are able to start their school term on an equal footing with their classmates when it comes to school uniforms."
She added: "Moray School Bank have been doing a fantastic job supporting families and they will also feel a positive impact from this, as they have been getting more and more referrals for help since they were set up."
Until now, the School Clothing Grant in Moray has been £45 but there will now be a minimum award of £100.
Figures from the Child Poverty Action Group show that the average cost of a uniform for a girl at primary school is £201 and for a boy at primary school is £192, and for boys and girls at secondary school is £212.
The scheme will open in time for the 2018/19 academic year with eligibility determined at a local level.
Overall annual costs are expected to reach £12 million with 50 per cent of the cost met by additional Scottish
Government funding and 50 per cent met by individual local authorities.
The grant will be reviewed every two years to ensure that the amount available remains in line with cost of living.
Councillor Sonya Warren, Moray Council opposition spokeswoman on education, added: "With cuts by the UK Government to the welfare system, many families struggle with some of the basic outgoings in their household, including clothing. Over 1300 School Clothing Grants are issued in Moray, so this increase will be a great help to those families."