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 £660 Yes. Copy of your online journal full statement including your Take Home Pay
Child Tax Credit only, with annual income up to £17005 Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2022/23
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with annual income up to £7920 Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2022/23
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. 2022/23 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 5 receive free school meals from August 2022. 

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 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 meet the above criteria you should receive your letter by 16 July 2022.

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

Apply for free school meals and clothing grant

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 2023.

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.