HC Deb 13 January 1981 vol 996 c489W
36. Mr. Foulkes

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provisions exist for supplying free clothing and shoes for needy schoolchildren; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Boyson

In England, local education authorities are empowered under regulations made under section 5 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1948 to provide items of clothing when it appears that a pupil is unable by reason of the inadequacy or unsuitability of his clothing to take full advantage of the education provided at his school. Powers also exist under which grants may be given towards the cost of essential clothing. These powers are discretionary and it is for each local education authority to determine the extent to which they are used. The arrangements in Scotland are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.