Cost of Living Support

Find out below what support is available to help you and your family get through the cost-of-living crisis.

Let us know if you’re in financial difficulty

We know that many families are going through a tough time this winter and we want to do everything we can to help you and your child. If you’re struggling with your finances, please get in touch to let us know, as there may be things we can suggest which will help.

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Family Hub

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

You don’t have to be a UK citizen to get support from your local CAB, you just need to be
a resident of the local area. The CAB can help you with:

  • Getting benefits or organising other financial support
  • Accessing support for essential costs (food, bills, rent)

Visit the Citizens Advice website or contact your local branch to book an appointment. Citizens Advice ( or contact the advice line 0300 330 9073 (Adviceline)

Family Hub

Contact your local Family Hub to get help accessing all the support you might need as a family. Find your local hub here.

Check you’re paying the right amount of tax

Make sure you’re on the right tax code. If you aren’t you might be due a refund. Use the Money Saving Expert’s free tax code calculator to find out.

Claim any benefits you’re entitled to

Use 1 of these benefits calculators to determine whether there are any benefits you could be claiming:

You may be able to get benefits paid early if you need cash urgently – this is known as ‘a short-term benefit advance’. You will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office at [Jobcentre Plus | Oldham Council] that’s dealing with your claim.

Carers and SEND Support

Oldham Cost of Living Household Support Fund.

Oldham Parent Carer Forum and POINT are delighted to be working along side Action Together and Oldham Council with a Cost-of-Living Household Support offer.  

We will be supporting families with supermarket food vouchers, and new warm clothing items.  

Please contact Oldham Parent Carer Forum for more information using the following contact details: 

Or visit Point to complete a self referral form

Check you’ve received all the government’s cost-of-living payments

The government’s cost-of-living payments are available for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits. You don’t need to apply for these – if you’re eligible the money should go straight into your account.

If you think you’re due a payment but haven’t received one, report a missing payment to the government here.

Be aware of scams! If you receive any emails, texts or phone calls asking you to fill in an application form or asking for your bank details to receive a cost-of-living payment, do not talk to them or send a reply. Get more information on cost-of-living scams on the Money Saving Expert’s website.

Find out what help you can get with your energy bills and Broadband

Take a look at these resources from the British Gas Energy Trust and the Money Saving Expert for energy and Money Saving Expert for Broadband support.

Check if your child is entitled to free school meals (FSM) and get uniform support

If your child is eligible for FSM you need to get them registered. This will allow them to get a free meal at school, and we’ll get extra funding (known as the pupil premium) to support your child’s learning.

Go to this government website to check if your child is eligible. If they are, or if you’re not sure, you can submit a request with Oldham Council to see if you are eligible for FSM Free school meals | Free school meals | Oldham Council

The Blue Coat School also encourages families to donate uniform back to the school so that we can support other families who may be struggling with uniform costs. Our sizes are limited to what has been donated but we are able to help with:

  • PE Kit
  • Blazers
  • Skirts

To enquire about availability of second hand uniform please see our Uniform page on our website and complete the Uniform Request Form detailed on the page Uniform – The Blue Coat School (

Hardship Fund

The school receives no funding to provide direct financial support for pupils suffering hardship. However, the Trust has retained a small fund available to help in exceptional circumstances. If you feel that your situation make make you eligible, please apply in writing to the Headteacher ( explaining why you need financial assistance.

Decisions will include an assessment of direct links to the curriculum, for example:

  • Year 8 Belgium/France trip
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
  • Theatre, concert and gallery visits beneficial to the syllabuses of English, theatre studies, music and art in Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form. Fieldwork for A-Level geography, biology and science.

See what other support you can get from your local authority

Local authorities have many schemes that you might be eligible for, including:

Get free or low-cost food

If you’re worried about not having enough food to feed your family, you’re not alone. There are a number of places offering support.

  1. If you have a child under 4, and meet the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to healthy start food vouchers
  2. Oldham Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis
  3. Use food waste apps and websites like Olio (for free food and household items from your local community), Too Good To Go (for low-cost food from local restaurants), or Low Price Foods (food that has passed its best before date, but is still safe to eat)
  4. Become a member of a community shop. These organisations sell food to their members at a reduced price. Some shops are free to join if you meet certain criteria, and others ask for a small contribution. Find out if there’s one near you by checking these websites: Community Shop, Your Local Pantry, Community Grocery
  5. Get more tips on free and cheap meals from Which

Free hygiene products

  • The Blue Coat School offers free period products to students, these can be requested from the main office or PE Department by any student who needs them.
  • Food banks may offer free toiletries and sanitary products. Check with your local food bank to see what’s available [Oldham Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis]
  • Find the cheapest disposable sanitary products on Sanitary Saver

Replace or repair household items at a low cost or for free

Check if you can get broken household goods replaced or repaired by your local community.

Find a warm space to beat the chill

Some community spaces open their doors to provide a safe and warm space for a few hours. Many also offer hot drinks and Wi-Fi.

Find a warm bank here Warm Banks | Warm Banks | Oldham Council

Further information:

Contact StepChange for debt advice
Contact Shelter if you’re having issues related to housing
Contact the Salvation Army for emergency assistance
See if you’re eligible for grants from Turn2us
Single parents can get support from Gingerbread

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The Blue Coat School is proud to be part of the Cranmer Education Trust

Cranmer Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity registered in England. Company registration number: 07687709. Registered Office: Cranmer Education Trust, c/o Blue Coat School, Egerton Street, Oldham OL1 3SQ. The website address is and the phone number 0161 785 5082.