Free School Meals and Clothing Grants

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
  • Universal Credit
  • 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

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.

How do I apply?

You can either download an application form (PDF), or simply ask for an application form which may be obtained from schools or from the Payments Section Tel: 01343 563144.  Completed application forms should be returned with evidence of benefits directly to your child's school.

When submitting a claim, please note that

  • Separate claim forms should be completed if your children attend different schools
  • Claims will not be backdated, and will only come into force once the school has received the assessed form
  • Only one clothing grant per year per child will be awarded.
  • The Clothing Grant Scheme runs from 1 April to 31 March (financial year).
  • Clothing grant applications cannot be processed during the summer school holidays.
  • Free school meals cease when you stop receiving any of the benefits listed above. 
  • Proof of benefits is required for assessing your application.  A Tax Credit Award Notice is acceptable proof of benefits.

It is your responsibility to inform the School or Education & Social Care of any change in circumstances.

How is the clothing grant paid?

The grant is paid directly by cheque to the parent or guardian who has signed the application form

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. 

Contact Us

Education & Social Care
Council Office
High Street
IV30 1BX

01343 563374

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