- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

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 6th July to 30th September 2020. The scheme is now open for applications. From July 6th, you can apply online . More information on applying is available here

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. All of the restrictions are available here

The rates are age-related as follows:

€150 for each child aged 4-11 on or before 30th September 2020
€275 for each child aged 12-22 on or before 30th September 2020

It is expected that the administrative arrangements for the 2020/20 Scheme will be largely 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. If you qualify, you'll receive a letter confirming your automated payment. If you have not received a letter confirming an automated payment by the 6th July you will need to submit an application, even if you received the payment last year.

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.

From the 6th of July 2020, Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance application forms will be available from your Intreo Centre, local Social Welfare Branch Office, Citizens Information Centre and online here. An application form can also be requested by SMS (text message) by texting Form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909 or by emailing the Department at

You can get help with filling in your application form at your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch office or nearest Citizens Information Centre.
Click here for further information on the scheme