School uniform and uniform grants

School governors decide the school’s uniform policy. The school principal is responsible for making sure pupils follow the uniform-wearing rules. Some primary and post-primary school pupils are eligible for grants to help buy their school uniform. To get a uniform grant, you apply to the Clothing Allowance Scheme.

School uniform policy

Schools can read guidance on what to include in their school uniform policy.

Buying a school uniform

Schools should make sure their uniform is available in different shops, retail outlets and internet suppliers rather than from one supplier.

Schools should ask parents for their views and concerns before changing or deciding on a new uniform policy.

Uniform grant

There are uniform grants available to some pupils. The eligible criteria for a uniform grant is similar to qualifying for free school meals (FSM).

Clothing Allowance Scheme

The Clothing Allowance Scheme covers pupils in primary, post-primary and special schools.

There are no uniform grants for children at:

  • nursery schools
  • nursery units
  • reception classes

A uniform grant can pay:

  • £35.75 for a primary school pupil
  • £51 for a post-primary/special school pupil under 15 years old
  • £56 for a post-primary/special school pupil over 15  years old
  • £22 for a post-primary/special school pupil physical education kit

A school pupil can usually only get one clothing allowance during the school year.

Applying for a uniform grant

If your child is eligible for a school uniform grant, you need to apply to the Education Authority. To read more about eligibility for uniform grants, go to:

Physical education (PE)

School uniform often includes clothing for PE lessons. Schools should choose kit that is practical, comfortable and suited to the activity. Sex and race issues must be considered.

Schools are expected to consider cost to parents when choosing PE kit.

Breaking uniform policy

If a pupil doesn't keep the uniform policy, the school try to find out why it is happening. If a family is having financial problems, the school should give the parents time to buy the right uniform.

Pupils should not be made to feel uncomfortable if parents cannot provide the right uniform.

Human rights

Schools must consider the needs of different cultures, races and religions. They must always act reasonably and sensibly towards religious requirements, providing they do not pose a threat to security, safety and learning, or compromise the well-being of the school community.

Schools must not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or belief.

Travel to school

Schools should encourage children to walk and cycle to school. To improve children's safety, when designing uniform the school should use reflective materials. It's also important to encourage children to wear high visibility clothing.

To read more about walking and cycling to school safely, go to:

More useful links

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