Appalled by lack of support and confusion

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Liz Plante is appalled by the lack of support she has received for meeting uniform expenses.

The mother-of-two, who claims income support, has spent pound;200 on her children's secondary school uniform in the past year.

The school, in the West Midlands, requires that pupils own a pound;35 blazer and a reversible rugby shirt worth pound;22. Last year Miss Plante claimed a pound;30 grant from education welfare and found a second-hand blazer for her 12-year-old son. He has been teased by classmates for wearing it.

This year Miss Plante made another request to education welfare, this time for help with her daughter's uniform. She was told that the school had taken on responsibility for distributing the uniform grant - but when she approached the school it directed her to the local authority.

Miss Plante, 40, said: "Neither education welfare nor the school knew where the money was. I was appalled.

"The system is a mess. It might be better to give the money to benefit agencies which can target people through income support."

Miss Plante has now received pound;30 towards the cost of her daughter's uniform but is under pressure to purchase scientific calculators and language dictionaries for both children.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today