Halting Of Cuts To School Uniform Grant Welcomed

Republican Network for Unity welcome the halting of a £3 million cut to a school uniform grant scheme for low-income families. This austerity measure would have added further financial pressure on to thousands of families already struggling. School uniforms have increased in expense over the past several years and covering their cost, especially for larger families can reach the stage of an inability to provide their children uniform.

The “revamp” of PE uniforms is an entirely unnecessary expense and has been the cause of stress for many families. Speaking to a former teacher from the Armagh area RNU can reveal that many teachers as well as parents are against this policy.

The recently retired teacher stated;

“It had been school policy in my workplace that our pupils would wear a simple white t-shirt and shorts. These items of clothing are relatively cheap and easy to replace. However the move to the more expensive brand name training gear, for mere aesthetics, has led to parents approaching me and having to explain that they cant provide the compulsory PE kit.”

“It is all well and good for members of staff to be flexible when certain cases such as this appear however that child is then singled out. It can lead to embarrassment and even bullying.”

RNU oppose any and all attempts to introduce further costs to already struggling families. All cuts to the grants provided to parents must be selfishly guarded at all times as these are safety nets in a time of inflation, wage freezes and job insecurity. Many depend rather than simply benefit from such grants. While there may well be families that can afford these changes and those that hold positions of power in regards to policy may wish to improve the image of their schools, it must not be at the cost to those on lower incomes. Their interests and the interests of their children should come before all others in this matter.