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Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance 2014/2015

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.

Following Budget 2014, The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is unchanged for all children under 18. In 2014 it will continue to be paid for those aged 18-22 who are in second-level education only, not 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.

The rate of payment is age related as follows:

€100 for each child aged 4-11 on or before 30th September 2014
€200 for each child aged 12-22 on or before 30th September 2014

It is expected that the administrative arrangements for the 2014/15 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 customers. These customers will simply receive a letter from the Department of Social Protection in mid-June telling them when and how their payment will be made - it is expected that automatic payments will issue in the week commencing (TBC).

A customer who does not receive an automated payment will be required to complete an application form which will become available from late June 2014. These applications will then be processed from one centralised unit within the Department of Social Protection. Further information on the scheme

School Books Grant Scheme

A grant scheme is available in Ireland for students in State primary and post-primary schools to help with the cost of school books. The scheme is mainly aimed at pupils from low-income families and families experiencing financial hardship. Funding for this scheme comes from the Department of Education and Science and the scheme is administered in each school by the School Principal.

More about the School Books Grant Scheme in Primary Schools and the Post Primary Schools

Students that may be eligible for assistance include;

  • Families dependent mainly dependent on social welfare payments
  • Families on low incomes, (e.g., those receiving Family Income Supplement, and beneficiaries under the Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Allowance)
  • Families experiencing financial hardship because of particular circumstances.(For example, where there is prolonged illness of a parent/guardian, addiction problems, etc.)
Be aware that even if you or your parent/guardian is entitled to a medical card, this does not mean that you are automatically entitled to assistance under the scheme. The School principal has total discretion in deciding which students are most in need. In addition, the amount and form of assistance given to eligible pupils is a matter for individual schools subject to the terms of the scheme.
Further information about the operation of the scheme in your child's school is available from the School Principal. Applications for assistance under the scheme should be made directly to the School Principal

For more information:
    Log on to

    Locall Information Line at 1890 66 22 44 (from the Republic of Ireland only).

    Drop in to your local Social Welfare Office or Citizens Information Centre.