Glasgow City Council

Thousands of families get school clothing grant bonus as anti-poverty campaign is launched

Published: 17 October 2016

Frank poverty

The first steps in Glasgow's new anti-poverty campaign - People Make Glasgow Fairer - aims to help every family in the city due benefits to make sure that they get them.

This involves targeting low income families who, although entitled to the benefit, have not claimed for school uniforms - the School Clothing Grant (SCG).

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Frank McAveety, announced plans to hand out more than quarter of a million pounds for unclaimed school clothing grants. Around 5000 low income families, with school age children, will be better off thanks to the move.

The move was made in response to a request from the city's Poverty Leadership Panel (PLP) to increase uptake of school clothing grants and free school meals.

Councillor McAveety said: "Our end game is to have a city where no one has to worry about money for food, housing and keeping warm. This campaign aims to start with making sure people get what they are due for their families. That's only a first step. But we will build on it.

"I am heartened by the commitment and hard work of the members of the Poverty Leadership Panel (PLP) in coming together to identify practical ways in which we can tackle the scourge of poverty that haunts too many people and families across the city."

Ghazala Hakeem, co-chair of the PLP and community activist, said: "When working on this strategy it was important that it gave those who experience poverty a voice and took on board their views and opinions. Having come up with the strategy we will now be able to turn it into real actions that will help people."   

The Poverty Leadership Panel is a working group that links the council with community activists, many of whom have lived in poverty themselves, to bring forward policies that will make a difference to low income families in every part of the city.

The project sees data matched with those who receive housing benefit and council tax reduction and all children attending school in Glasgow.

It means that the SCG payment can now be automatically sent to those who are entitled to it. There is now no need to apply for it.

Under plans announced as part of the city's new poverty strategy- People Make Glasgow Fairer - the annual SCG award has also been increased by £5 to £52 per child, per year.

This increase will be backdated to those who have received the grant this year, meaning that around 20,000 families will receive a further award of £5.

Both payments will be sent out mid-December.

In a further change, the council will also now pay this sum routinely each year to those that are entitled, without people having to apply for it separately.  

The council, through People Make Glasgow Fairer, is also leading on projects to make sure pensioners receive full benefit entitlements to end so called pensioner poverty, developing in-work support guidance for those on low incomes and trialling a service where by the council provides a free phone line, direct to Dept. for Work and Pensions, in libraries, to make lengthy assessment calls easier and cheaper.

As part of Challenge Poverty Week (16-22 October 2016), people are also being asked to find out more about what poverty means by visiting their website povertyleadershippanel.org.uk

Why not find out more about the reasons for poverty and how it affects people and then sign the pledge never to use language that may stigmatise people who are experiencing poverty and challenge negative attitudes towards people experiencing poverty.

All enquiries regarding this change to school clothing grants should be directed to FinancialInclusionPartnership@glasgow.gov.uk

people make glasgow fairer logo

PLP Strategy download:

pdf icon PLP Strategy Full Version [2Mb]

Published: 17 October 2016

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