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.

Each award is valid for one school year.

The meals award provides a pupil with one free school meal each day they attend school. Children in P1 to P3 across Scotland can take a free school meal every day.

The clothing grants are:

  • £100 for primary
  • £100 for secondary

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 2015 and 29 February 2016, you can apply between 1 June 2020 and 28 February 2021.

For more information and to apply:

Automatic renewals

You should have received a letter for an automatic award by week ending 28/06/20 if you meet all three of these conditions::

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

If you have not received a letter please apply as detailed below.

New applications

If you have not qualified for an automatic renewal, you can apply for free school meals and a clothing grant if you receive:

  • Universal Credit (where your monthly earned income is not more than £610)
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Your child is also entitled to free school lunches and a clothing grant if you receive:

  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your annual income is less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit, and your annual income is less than £6,900

How to apply

To apply, download and complete the application form below then email it with any supporting documents to [email protected] 

There is a single application form for both benefits. You need only apply once per year. Supporting evidence will be needed at the time of applying. We cannot process applications until we receive this.

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 [email protected] 
  • After sending, delete your personal documents from your sent email.

Advice for mobile/tablet device users

Please use either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat Reader (both free to download from your app store) to open up the form which should allow you to complete and save the application ready to email.

Email the completed form and any supporting documents to [email protected] 

What happens next?

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

Free school meals will be awarded immediately, and clothing grants will normally be awarded within 28 days from receipt of application. Regular payments will be made up to 31 March 2021.

Related Downloads