Schools across Greater Manchester may have just broken up for the summer holidays, but that means parents only have a few weeks to prepare for the new term.
After six-weeks of no homework, late nights, and plenty of summer fun eventually comes to an end, the new school year serves as a fresh start for millions of school children across the UK, but for some parents, guardians, and caregivers, it can end up being a pretty expensive time – with the cost of school uniform often being a bit of a burden.
Luckily though, plenty of local councils nationwide – including a few right here in Greater Manchester – are on hand to offer some financial support.
The School Uniform Grant 2022 is now open to applications.
Unfamiliar with what it’s all about? Well, the School Uniform Grant is government-run scheme ran by local councils that was introduced a few years back with the aim of helping low-income families purchase school uniforms for their children.
You can get a £200 maximum non-repayable grant, however amounts depends on your local authority and individual circumstances.
Who is eligible?
If your local council does offer the School Uniform Grant, then you should be able to claim it if you can prove that you’re on a low income, or receive at least one of the following benefits:
Child tax credit
Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
Income-related employment and support allowance
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
The guaranteed element of pension credit
Working tax credit run-on
Which councils offer grants? And how much can I claim?
As of 2022, unfortunately only three councils in the Greater Manchester region have School Uniform Grants open to apply to.
Bolton Council, Bury Council, and Stockport Council each have running grant schemes.
Bolton Council – Up to £30 per child
Bury Council – Up to £50 per child
Stockport Council – £40 per child
How do I apply?
Once again, applications for the 2022 School Uniform Grant differ depending on the local council you’re applying to.
If you already receive housing benefit or council tax support, help towards school uniform will be given automatically and you don’t need to apply, and similarly, if you have already applied for free school meals, then Bolton Council will look at help with school uniform at the same time, so you don’t need to apply separately
But if you don’t receive housing benefit or council tax support, then you’ll need to apply for help with school uniform here.
Payments will be made to eligible families during May and June.
There is no need to apply, as the scheme will be administered through schools to those eligible in the same way that the Bury Council-funded food voucher scheme has operated in the last two years.
In Stockport, the School Uniform Grant is for children in years 7 to year 11 at secondary school who receive free school meals.
You can apply for the grant at any time if you’re eligible and you or your children live in Stockport, but if you do not meet the criteria, you may still be able to apply for the grant if the uniform has been damaged in a fire or flood, or your child has changed schools and they need a new uniform.
If your child is in year 7, they’ll receive the compulsory badged uniform, and if they’re in years 8 to 11, then you’ll receive a £40 credit to spend at the nominated school uniform supplier.
What do I need to apply?
When applying for the School Uniform Grant, you’ll need your proof of address (a utility bill or council tax statement, etc), proof of identity (a driver’s license or passport), and proof of guardianship of your child (birth certificate or adoption papers).
You’ll also need a recent bank statement that proves your income or confirms that you are receiving one of the benefits required for eligibility.
Alternatively, you can use a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Can’t get a grant from your council? Ask your school for help
With only three Greater Manchester councils offering School Uniform Grants in 2022, this will inevitably leave many people still struggling to cover the costs, but MoneySavingExpert explains that plenty schools across the UK still offer support to families who need financial assistance with uniforms in a number of ways.
The most common example of financial support schools take is by allocating vouchers towards the cost, and you are encouraged to check in, ask for help, and see what’s available.
It’s also worth checking if your school has any second-hand uniform sales too.
Molly-Mae Hague has welcomed her first baby… according to boxer Jake Paul
Jake Paul appears to have spilled the beans on Molly-Mae Hague, announcing that she has given birth to her first baby with his rival Tommy Fury.
Super influencer Molly-Mae, 23, has maintained radio silence on Instagram for the last week, leading to many fans speculating that she has welcomed her baby girl and is taking some privacy out of the public eye.
Many assumed that she would bide her time for a huge announcement video, as she did with her pregnancy announcement back in September.
But it appears that Jake Paul has jumped the gone and made the announcement for the young couple, who met on the fifth series of Love Island.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake posted on Twitter today, alongside a poster promoting his upcoming fight with Tommy: “Tommy has no excuses now…Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue.
“Tyson promises he & Papa will make Tommy retire from boxing & change his last name if he can’t beat the YouTuber.
“Tmw I’m coming to London to look at all 3 Fury’s in the eye & shake on that promise.”
Of course, the internet has completely lost its mind that Molly-Mae’s undoubtedly tasteful baby announcement has been usurped in this way.
One person posted on Twitter: “Jake Paul announcing Molly Mae’s birth before Molly Mae or Tommy is the biggest sh*thousery I’ve seen this year.”
Another wrote: “ermmm did Jake Paul just let slip that Molly Mae’s given birth before she announced it or??”
Someone else commented: “Not Jake Paul announcing molly mae having her baby before molly mae what a prick.”
Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury have not yet addressed the message from Jake Paul.
Featured image: Instagram, @mollymae
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.