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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance 2017/2018


The purpose of this allowance is to help families on social welfare and Health Service Executive payments meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children who are attending school. The scheme operates from 1st June and 30th September 2017. Application form's for the scheme will be available from 16th June 2017.

The scheme applies to children aged between 4 and 17 on or before 30th September or aged between 18 and 22 on or before 30th September but only if they are in second-level education in a recognised school or college. The scheme does not apply to those in third level education.

To be eligible for the allowance the applicant (parent or guardian) must be receiving certain social welfare payments or payments for training, employment schemes or adult education. Total household income must also be below a certain amount.

Following the recent announcement of Leo Varadkar, former Minister for Social Protection, the rate of payment has been increased 25%from last year. The rates are age-related as follows:

€125 for each child aged 4-11 on or before 30th September 2017
€250 for each child aged 12-22 on or before 30th September 2017

It is expected that the administrative arrangements for the 2017/18 Scheme will be the same as last year. This means that the majority of Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance entitlements will be fully automated with no application form required from previous customers. These customers will simply receive a letter from the Department of Social Protection in week ending 16th June telling them when and how their payment will be made.

If you have a child over 18 years who will be returning to second-level education, you will need to apply for the allowance of this child again and provide confirmation that they are returning to second-level education.

A customer who does not receive an automated payment will be required to complete an application form which will become available in June 2016. These applications will then be processed from one centralised unit within the Department of Social Protection. Further information on the scheme