In the UK, all children are entitled to a free education.  Despite that, there are some things that parents have to pay for, such as what their children wear to school, the way they get to school and what they eat while they’re at school. And for families that may be finding it hard to  manage on a limited income, those costs can easily mount up and often seem unaffordable.

According to The Children’s Society, too many children are missing out on the opportunity to make the most of their education because they struggle to afford the costs of school life. A report published by the charity in 2014 suggests more than two-thirds of parents are struggling with the cost of school, rising to 95 per cent of parents from ‘not well off’ families. Perhaps that’s because, on average, families spend £800 each year on school costs, the charity claims.

If you’re on a low income and you have children at school, the good news is you may be entitled to some financial help with certain school costs.

The following help sheet gives practical tips on what help is available as well as details of where you can go if you need further information.