Free school meals and clothing grants
We provide children from low income families with free school meals, and money to help towards buying school clothes.
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 2023.
Each award is valid for one year only. You need to complete an application every year.
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
Who can apply for the grants?
Find out if you qualify to claim free school meals on the Scottish Government website.
You can also apply if you are:
- over 16
- staying on at school
- and living on your own.
|Qualifying criteria||Evidence required?|
|Universal Credit statement, with monthly Take Home Pay up to £726||Yes. Copy of your online journal full statement including your Take Home Pay|
|Child Tax Credit only, with annual income of less than £18,725||Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2023/24|
|Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with annual income of up to £8,717||Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2023/24|
|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. 2023/24 TC602 letter|
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 these criteria, you should have received your letter by the end of July 2023.
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 2024.
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.