The grant provided to parents and carers to help with buying school clothing and footwear is going up.
Elected members have agreed to raise it after discussions with headteachers over the summer and recent information on payment levels across Scotland.
New grant amount
The grant will rise from £45 to £70 in line with Scottish Government recommendations.
Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader:
“I very much welcome the swift action that has been taken to increase this grant. As a mum I know how much is can cost to kit out children for the start of the school term and this increase will benefit the most vulnerable children in our area.
“The fund will be backdated for this school year, so anyone who has already received the lower amount will have it topped up. I am very grateful for officers for acting so quickly to rectify this situation and hope that this will help give families peace of mind at what can be a very stressful time for many financially.”
Councillors also agreed to consider policy and guidance relating to tackling child poverty issues before March 2018.
Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People:
“One in five children in the Scottish Borders are affected by poverty on a daily basis and we are committed to tackling this through a range of measures, just one of which is increasing the school clothing and footwear grant.
“Work has already been going on with our headteachers to increase the awareness and understanding of child poverty and its impact on educational outcomes. That work, to be taken forward over the coming months with school staff and our partners, will consider what more can be done to ‘poverty proof’ our schools going forward.”
Read the full report.