Free School Meals and Clothing Grants

Please note: the process for applying for free school meals and a clothing grant is changing from 1 May 2017. You can find all of the information you need here.

Who is entitled to free school meals and a clothing grant?

The Scottish Government has committed to giving all children in primary 1 to primary 3 the option of a free school meal from January 2015.  You do not need to complete an application form to claim for free school meals for a child in primary 1 to primary 3, but you will need to complete a form if you want to claim for a clothing grant.  When your child enters primary 4, they will no longer be entitled to a free school meal under this scheme, but you can claim free school meals and a clothing grant for your child if you are receiving the following benefits:

  • Income Support,
  • Income-based Job Seekers' allowance,
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit, and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, is below £16,105, or
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an income below the threshold for receipt of maximum Working Tax Credit, currently set by the Government at £6,420
  • Support under Part VI - Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610

Pupils aged 16 - 18 are eligible for free school meals / clothing grants in their own right if they are in receipt of one of the above benefits.  

Pupils who are eligible to apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance may apply for Free School Meals under the above conditions, but can not apply for a Clothing Grant.

What is a clothing grant?

A clothing grant is a discretionary grant given by the Local Authority toward the costs of clothing and footwear for children to attend school.  The grant is a standard amount per child, although this amount may vary from year to year.

Can a child attending Nursery get a clothing grant?

No.  The earliest stage your child can get a grant is after he / she has enrolled for P1.  The grant will not be paid earlier than the April of the year he / she starts P1.

Can a child receiving an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) also get a clothing grant?

No.  Pupils who are of school leaving age should apply for an EMA rather than a Clothing Grant.

Under the new process, how do I apply for free school meals and a clothing grant?

The process for applying for free school meals and a clothing grant is changing from 1 May 2017.  The process is moving to Moray Council’s Benefits Service.  This means you will no longer need to submit an application form every year with your household income documents to the school that your child attends.

If you are eligible for Free School Meals and a Clothing Grant and you also currently claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, and your personal circumstances have not changed, you do not need to do anything as the Benefits Service will contact you automatically by post.
If you have not heard from them by 1 August 2017 you can contact the Benefits Service by telephoning 01343 563456, writing to The Revenues Section, Council Office, High Street, Elgin, IV30 1BX, or emailing revenues@moray.gov.uk
You can also visit any of the following offices:-
 BUCKIE - 13 Cluny Square, Buckie, AB56 1AJ
 ELGIN - Council Office, High Street, Elgin, IV30 1BX
 FORRES - Auchernack, High Street, Forres, IV36 1DX
 KEITH - The Resource Centre, 26 Mid Street, Keith, AB55 5AH

If you are eligible for Free School Meals and a Clothing Grant and you also currently claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, and your personal circumstances have recently changed then you need to inform the Benefits Service.
Contact details are listed above.

If you are eligible for Free School Meals and a Clothing Grant and do not currently claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction then you need to complete an application form (PDF).
Forms will be available from the Moray Council Access Points listed above and from schools from 1 May 2017.

How will my child receive their free school meal?

Primary: School staff will be advised of those families who are eligible for Free School Meals and will issue school meal tickets to the child.
Secondary: School staff will be advised of those families who are eligible for Free School Meals and will credit the cashless catering system with a daily allowance.

How will I receive a clothing grant?

The grant is paid directly by cheque to the parent or guardian.

What will happen if my circumstances change?

If your household income changes during the year the school will be informed by the Benefits Service that you are no longer eligible and will stop issuing school meal tickets or stop crediting the cashless catering system.

Contact Us

Education & Social Care
Council Office
High Street
Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563374

educationandsocialcare@moray.gov.uk

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