Back To School In Wales: Money Saving Tips

Education Money | by | 30th Aug 2016

schoolchild for Back To School In Wales money saving article

With the kids going back to school in Wales soon, here’s our guide on how to save money on uniform, transport and anything else your child might need ahead of the start of the academic year.


The Money Advice Service also has budget planning tools to help you see your spending.

Netmums have 9 brilliant back-to-school money-saving tips and Citizens Advice Bureau has a comprehensive section on help with school costs.


Recycle for Wales share why it makes environmental and well as financial sense to reuse, repair and recycle old school uniforms. Netmums take a wider look at the issue in their 10 step guide to fuss-free uniforms, while MoneySavingExpert has searched and shared cheap uniform deals. The back to school signs have been up in the shops all summer, so Mrs Crunch compares the big supermarkets’ school uniforms for The Sun.

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Is Your Child Ready To Learn?


Free School Meals are available to your child or children if you receive certain support payments. The Welsh Government has produced this FAQs download on Free School Meals, and you will need to apply to your school or local council. Gov.UK has a postcode search that signposts you to Free School Meals information for your area.

If you do not qualify for free school meals then you can either pay for them or go down the packed lunch route. Netmums has a great lunchbox ideas guide, BBC Good Food has nutritional info and tips for healthy lunches for kids, as well as lots of recipes.

Photo Credit: davidmulder61 via Compfight cc

Help with school transport

The kids heading back to school in Wales means the return of school run. If this is filling you with dread then Wales Online has 21 survival tips.

Gov.UK has a postcode search that signposts you to information about free school transport in your county. Citizens Advice Bureau breaks down who qualifies for free school transport in this guide. There’s also another Gov.UK postcode search to find out about subsidised transport for 16-19 years old.


Car-pooling, in other words, taking it in turns with other parents at the same school to do the school run, can save on petrol money and also free you up for one or two mornings a week. Classlist has a School Run Share Map that can help you organise it.

Walking to school is the healthiest and cheapest form of school transport, but only really works if your local school is close enough and you can get everyone ready in time. Living Streets has a badge scheme for kids called Wow, see if your local school is taking part.

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Questions About Home Schooling in Wales

EMA & Welsh Government Learning Grant

Something for parents with older children now.

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is for 16 to 18 year olds living in Wales, who are continuing their education after school leaving age. If eligible, they could get £30 a week, paid every two weeks. Applications opened in June, but they have 8 weeks after the start of term to apply and get it backdated.

The Welsh Government Learning Grant Further Education is for over 19s studying certain courses. There’s more eligibility criteria but they can get up to £1500, so it’s worth taking the time to check.

Student Finance Wales has information for parents on both these schemes.

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A Problem Shared… I Can’t Afford My Son’s School Trip

Term Dates: When do children go back to school in Wales?

Your local council website has the dates for when school starts, as well as contact details for schools. Most begin Thursday 1st September 2016, but as a school can set its own INSET Days, some will be closed on the Thursday and Friday, so it’s best to check with your local school.


Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Would you like to chat about family matters in general? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.

  • Phone: 0300 222 57 57
  • Text: 07860 052 905
  • Instant message (see top of page)

We are open 6pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 2pm Friday & Saturday.

Cover Photo Credit: hammersmithandfulham via Compfight cc

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