Bradford-based Provident Financial Group is launching a £100,000 free school uniform scheme with charity School-Home Support to help Yorkshire families struggling with cost-of-living problems.

Distributed with the help of School-Home Support and Dixons Academies Trust, uniforms provided by the £100,000 scheme will support pupils across BradfordLiverpoolManchester, and Blackpool.

The work, being made public for the first time today, has been ongoing throughout the summer to get uniforms to pupils in time for the autumn term.

The programme is expected to benefit more than 1,000 pupils across the North.

It is supplying anything deemed an essential item of clothing for a child to attend school, including school uniforms, shoes, coats, underwear and PE kits.

Working in partnership with PFG, SHS - a charity that helps maximise children's education opportunities - has launched a dedicated School Uniforms Fund to distribute uniforms to those children who need support.

This is available to SHS practitioners in the North and North-West and allows them to provide clothing needed for school to the families they support.

As part of this project, Dixons Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust across West Yorkshire and the Northwest, will distribute school uniforms to pupils in need on an ad-hoc basis, administered via a voucher system.

Malcolm Le May, Chief Executive Officer for Provident Financial Group, said: “We understand that every child deserves the best possible start in life and access to education to push that forward.

"No one can get a good start if they can't afford a school uniform. With the help of School Home Support and Dixons Academies Trust, we hope this project can make a real difference.

"Amid a cost-of-living crisis, this opportunity couldn't have come at a more critical time for the families we support.

“Not having a proper school uniform can stop a child attending school and miss out on an education.

"We want to make a real difference to the families we support and make sure children get the start in life that they deserve."

Dixons Academies Trust consists of 14 schools serving the communities of Bradford and Leeds. These consist of eight secondary academies, three primaries, two all-through academies and a standalone sixth form academy.

Last month, a Yorkshire council leader warned families were facing having to pay up to £250 per child to buy school uniform.

Speaking as a new school year began, Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield Council, said: “Councillors have been inundated with public concerns about the cost of school uniforms.

"Whilst we do not hold a central record of the costs, we know that a fully branded uniform, including PE wear, as required at some schools will cost parents and guardians around £250 a year per child.”


Article from Yorkshire Post 10/10/22: