Covid 19 Help and Support

School Clothing Grants

The Highland Council will provide support towards the costs of school clothing to many families. This will help children from primary 1 to secondary schools in Highland to be better equipped to attend school, focus on their education and fully participate in school life whilst easing the financial pressures for parents and carers.

Applications are now being invited by The Highland Council for the academic year starting in August 2020.

Assistance with school clothing can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following:

● Income Support

● Universal Credit (where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610).

● Income-based Job Seekers Allowance

● Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance

● Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105 (as assessed by the HMRC)

● Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the HMRC)

● If a young person is 16 to 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in their own right, then they can claim for themselves.

● An asylum seeker receiving support

● Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

To streamline the application process, the Council has a single application form for school clothing grants and free school meals.

Applications can be made online at www.highland.gov.uk/schoolmealsandclothinggrants.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment

The Best Start School Age Payment is a lump sum of £250 which is intended to help with the cost of a child starting school in August 2020. It is in addition to the school clothing grant and does not need to be paid back.

From 1 June 2020 until 28 February 2021 applications are invited by Social Security Scotland for children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 who are starting school in August 2020. Parents who have deferred their child’s school entry to August 2021 should still apply during this period. If they don’t it will be too late, and they will miss out on their payment.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following (If you're under 18, you do not need to be on any payments or benefits to apply:

● Universal Credit ● Housing Benefit

 ● Child Tax Credit

● Income Support

● Working Tax Credit

● Pension Credit

● Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

● Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Parents or carers can apply via Social Security Scotland freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222, by post or online at www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant

Don’t miss out, find out. Getting in touch with the Welfare Support Team is the first step to maximising your potential income. For help to apply for all benefits or entitlements contact the Welfare Support Team: telephone 0800 090 1004 or email welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

Alternatively, contact Citizens Advice for general information or for details of the customers local office they can visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits

Full support is available to support parents and carers through the council’s Welfare Support Team and Highland CABx to ensure households are receiving all their benefits and entitlements – ever more important in these challenging times.

Advice is freely available to help families with applying for the Clothing Grant and the Best Start Grant.



Mobile Testing Units in Highland

We have been asked to share this information to promote the UK mobile testing units in Highland to essential workers.  Check the website links below for further information if you have any questions.

Mobile testing units

Mobile testing units travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test essential workers if they or someone in their household is symptomatic. The UK Government testing programme in Scotland is additional capacity to supplement NHS testing which prioritises Health and Social Care staff.

New units are being brought into operation each day. There are now two in Highland, currently based in Broadford and Thurso. There is a drive though facility based in Inverness.

The self-referral and employer referral test booking routes are available for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Who is eligible to be tested in Scotland.

If eligible – You can select a regional test site drive-through appointment or home test kit.


Apply for a coronavirus test


More information is available on the following websites:




Are you an essential worker? You can now book a test online. Tests are available for you and people in your household if anyone in the home has symptoms. Don’t delay – tests are most effective within 3 days of symptoms. Book a test: https://bit.ly/BookTesting

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