Free school meals and clothing grants

Who can apply for the grants?

We provide children from low income families with free school meals and money to help towards buying school clothes. Young people over the age of 16 staying on at school and living on their own can also apply.

Find out if you qualify to claim free school meals on the Scottish Government website.

Eligibility
Qualifying criteria Evidence required?
Universal Credit statement, with monthly Take Home Pay up to £625 Yes. Copy of your online journal full statement including your Take Home Pay
Child Tax Credit only, with annual income up to £16105 Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2021/22
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with annual income up to £7500 Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2021/22
Income Support Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
Income Based Employment and Support Allowance Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Yes. 2021/22 TC602 letter

Each award is valid for one year only. You need to complete an application every year.

An award provides a pupil with one free meal each day they attend school. All children in primary 1 to 4 receive free school meals from August 2021. 

You are not automatically entitled to meal payments during holidays, free milk or a clothing grant. You must be eligible based on your income, and apply.

The clothing grants are:  

  • £120 for primary pupils
  • £150 for secondary pupils

Applying for Free School Meals and Clothing Grant

You should get a letter for an automatic award by 18 July 2021 if:

  • you got an award for the previous school year
  • and you get Midlothian Council Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
  • and you get:
    • Income Support
    • or income-based Job Seekers Allowance
    • or any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance.

If you have not received a letter, or if you are a new applicant, please apply:

Important: please follow this advice to reduce the risks of sending personal information by email:

  • Do not use a shared device to send your email.
  • Do not use an unsecured or public WiFi network to send your email.
  • Before sending, double check the email address you are sending to is fsmawards@midlothian.gov.uk 
  • After sending, delete your personal documents from your sent email.

What happens next?

We aim to process all applications within 28 days, although this may vary in busy periods.

Free school meals are awarded immediately. Clothing grants are normally awarded within 28 days from receipt of application. Regular payments will be made up to 31 March 2022.

Apply for a Good Time to Be 2 place

If you have a two-year-old child, you may be eligible for up to 1140 hours of high quality early learning at a nursery or other setting.

Message from Social Security Scotland

Best Start Grant School Age Payment is a £250 payment from Social Security Scotland. It is made around the time a child normally starts Primary 1 to help with the costs of starting school.

You may be eligible if you are the parent or carer of the child, and you get certain benefits or tax credits.

If your child was born between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2017, you can apply until 28 February 2022.

For more information and to apply:

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