“Families are being cut off” -Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Gov to lift immigration status barriers on school grants

17 Apr 2024

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to ensure that a family’s access to the School Essentials Grant is not being blocked due to their immigration status.

A recent report from the Bevan Foundation highlighted how many Local Authorities are currently excluding children from the grant due to their immigration status, especially those affected by the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) policy.

This is despite clear Welsh Government guidance stating that school uniform grants do not count as public funds.

A survey from the same foundation found that almost 1 in 6 children are still worried about not having the right materials or right clothing for school.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“I warmly welcome the Welsh Government’s continued support for the School Essentials Grant, a crucial policy in the fight against inequalities in education that was spearheaded by our party more than a decade ago.

However I am afraid that access to this vital grant is currently not being made available to every child here in Wales, with some missing out due to their immigration status.

Disparities in listed criteria and application processes across various Local Authorities are creating unnecessary confusion for thousands of families.

I urge the Welsh Government to ensure that all children, regardless of their backgrounds or origins, can access the School Essential Grant and gain an equal footing when it comes to their education.”

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