Free School Meals and Clothing Grant

You may qualify if you receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • The income-related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax or Housing Benefit 

For Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will need to provide us with all the pages of your recent Tax Credit Award letter. This should be dated in the last 3 months and show your expected income. For all other allowances, you need to provide your reward letter. These should be supplied at the time of applying and applications cannot be processed until this has been received.

Free Nursery Meals

We can’t pay a clothing grant for children attending nursery. However, if your child is over 2 years old and attends nursery for an extended day, NOT a half-day session, and any of the above applies they are entitled to free meals. 

How to Apply

Please note: You can apply for a clothing grant up to 31 December. Only one clothing grant per child is allowed for each school year. 

Forms for school session 2020/2021 are not available at the moment.

There is a single application form for both benefits, and it is only necessary to apply once per year.

No grant is paid for young people who are 16 years old by 30 September. An application should be made for the Education Maintenance Allowance. If any of the above applies they are entitled to free school meals. 

You can apply for free school meals at any time. If your child qualifies for free school meals we will advise the school. Meals will be provided from the date the application is approved and cannot be backdated. 

If your application is successful, we aim to send you a payment before the new school year starts. We start sending out payments direct to your bank account in July. If you haven’t received your payment by then please contact us.

If you are not entitled to a payment we will write to you and explain why. 

Education Maintenance Allowance

An Education Maintenance Allowance(EMA) is an allowance of up to £30 per week payable to eligible young people who stay in full-time education at school after their 16th birthday. It can be paid for a maximum of 3 consecutive years and must be applied for each year.  Applications for 2020/21 are currently not open. The new form will be available here by 1 July 2020.

More information is available in our guide and from EMA Scotland.

Last updated: Thursday, June 4, 2020 9:48 AM