STRUGGLING families in Wales will be offered one-off payments of £100 for their children’s PE kits as the cost of living crisis in the UK deepens.
The Welsh Government announced the £13 million support package as a way of helping people meet the cost of sending their children to school.
Eligible households will get the cash through the country’s Pupil Development Grant (PDG) in 2022/23.
The grant was recently extended to pupils in all school years who are eligible for free school meals.
The Labour government has also extended free school meal provision for families through the Easter, Whitsun and summer holidays at a cost of £21.4 million.
Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles said: “In the midst of this Tory cost of living crisis, household budgets are under significant pressure and many parents will be worried about how they can afford the things their children need for school.
“Those families in receipt of the PDG Access Grant will already be using the £200 to help pay for their children’s school uniform. This extra payment will help cover other costs, such as PE kits, school shoes and other equipment, helping household budgets go a little bit further.
“I’m pleased we can provide a bit more help to families at this difficult time and remove some of the financial barriers to education.”
It follows the Welsh Labour conference over the weekend, which was attended by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who called the government in Wales “a blueprint for what Labour can do across the UK”.
He said: “Imagine what we could do if we had this Welsh government working together with a Labour government in Westminster – what a change we could make and what a difference we could bring to millions of lives.
“That isn’t a pipe dream; that is our mission. We are not just on the road to the locals this May, we are on the road to the next general election. Whether it’s next year or the year after the general election approaches, it is our chance to replicate what we see in Wales right across the UK.”
Sir Keir told delegates he had flown to the conference directly from Estonia, where he had been meeting with Nato forces.
The Welsh Tories called the party “anti-aspiration, anti-jobs and anti-opportunity”.