Free school meals and clothing grant

You may qualify if you receive:
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • 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.

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. 

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

  • Download & complete the application form, and provided the following documents
    • all the pages of your recent Tax Credit Award letter
    •  For all other allowances - your reward letter

No grant is paid for young people who are 16 years old by 30 September. An application should be made for 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. 

We can’t pay a 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. 

If your application is successful, we aim to send you a payment before the new school year starts. If you haven’t received your payment by then please phone 01786 233210. We start sending out payments direct to your bank account in July. 

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.  

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

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