School uniforms: 'How am I supposed to fund this?'

image captionRebecca Derrick from Port Talbot is worried about the impact of the grant cut

A single mum-of-three has laid bare the difficulties she faces in buying her children the correct school uniform.

Rebecca Derrick. from Port Talbot, said the £105 grant previously available to eligible children entering Year 7 was barely enough to buy one of each item required.

The news that the Welsh Government grant has now been cut has left the 34-year old worried.

"How am I supposed to fund this?" she asked.

"There are people out there who are worse off than me. How are they supposed to fund it?"

'Don't last'

Miss Derrick, who suffers from fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, said she buys cheaper trousers, skirts and shirts from supermarkets.

"But they don't last. They go through two, three pairs per year," she said.

Her condition, which leads to swollen hands, means mending clothes is not an option.

In addition, the school her children attend requires pupils to wear a blazer, tie and jumper with the school badge, which can only be purchased from one retailer.

A PE kit further added to the cost.

'Kids know'

"It came to £115 for one of each item," she said, adding that the children really needed more than just one of some of them.

Her middle child, a girl in Year 9, has autism and has suffered from remarks made by other children about her clothing.

"The school uniform doesn't really bridge the gap (between rich and poor). The kids know," Miss Derrick said.

She says the school is understanding and has offered to buy trousers and shoes.

"But my pride is there so I don't want that," she said.

When building works finish on the school her children attend, it will introduce a new uniform.

"They will just have to wear the old one until I can afford to buy the new uniform."

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