STRUGGLING parents could receive cash to help purchase new school uniforms in the latest support package devised by Southend Council.

Under the scheme - which will be discussed by Southend Council - parents or carers on a “low income” could receive support.

Councillor Anne Jones, who is responsible for children and learning at the council, insisted it has been one of her main priorities to re-open the grant and to help parents.

She said: “When I first came to the council, one of the first things the Conservatives took out was the school uniform grant and I wanted the opportunity to put it back in ever since.

“We have found over the last 12 years; prices are going up and wages have not risen. It is part of a support system which keeps people safe and secure and children should never be made to felt different because their uniform is second-hand.

“It’s about supporting parents in the way that works best for them.”

To be eligible for the uniform grant, parents or carers must be classified as under low income through national benefit entitlements and meet one of the criteria for exceptional circumstances.

The school uniform grant money will see Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 families offered £80, primary school parents offered £100, and then £150 given per secondary school pupil.

Chloe Daly, a mother of two who runs Daisy First Aid Southend, said there are a host of benefits to wearing a school uniform.

“I’ve always thought school uniform is a good thing, it helps with discipline and there are values embedded in uniform.

“The impact of these costs on parents can be very costly, and kids grow very quickly – the upkeep on that is tough. If the local council can provide a grant, it would be a great incentive as there are lots of positives to wearing a school uniform.”

Exceptional circumstances which could see parents or carers also receive support include being made homeless or being reassigned housing as well as school clothes being lost in a fire or flood.

Southend Council’s cabinet will vote on the plan tomorrow night.