ELIGIBLE parents whose children will be starting school for the first time are being urged to apply for a free grant.

The Best Start School Age Payment provides £267.65 per child to help pay for clothes and other necessary supplies for youngsters old enough to start school.

It is only available to children born between March 1, 2017 and February 28, 2018.

Parents who have deferred their child’s entry to school from August 2022 to August 2023, or those who are home educating, must still apply before the February 28 closing date.

Households in receipt of most means-tested benefits are eligible for the Best Start programme, including in-work benefits.

For more details on eligibility and applying, visit mygov.scot/beststart or call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.