HC Deb 24 March 1960 vol 620 cc661-2
32. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the distress caused to some parents when they are asked to spend money on a school uniform, following the gaining of a scholar- ship by their child, he will arrange for parents to be informed that a grant may be given them in respect of such uniform.

Sir D. Eccles

Local education authorities are prepared to make grants towards the cost of school uniform where parents show that they cannot meet it without hardship. Since authorities' arrangements differ from one area to another, they can best be publicised locally.

Mr. Janner

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the recent case of a widow with three children who was driven to crime in order to find the money to provide a school uniform, and the remarks of the learned judge who indicated that he had heard similar cases before and thought that the education authority should do something about it? Will the Minister see to it that some indication is given to the local education authorities so that people will not be placed in that position?

Sir D. Eccles

I am not aware whether the parent in that case was eligible for grant or not.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of some schools the uniform may entail an expenditure of up to £35? Will he allow it to be known that he deprecates a uniform being prescribed at such a level?

Sir D. Eccles

I was not aware that a uniform costs £35. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will send me particulars.