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.

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 2022/23
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with annual income of up to £8,717 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 have received your letter by 16 July 2022.

If you did not receive a letter, or if you are a new applicant, please apply:

Apply for free school meals and clothing grant

However, if you are an existing applicant please do NOT use the current form to apply for free school meals for the August 2023/2024 terms. 

New applications will be available from mid-July.

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 were made up to 31 March 2023.

Scottish Child Payment

Changes to Scottish Child Payment which took effect on 14 November  2022 mean increased financial support for more families. The Scottish Child Payment is already being paid by Social Security Scotland for eligible children under the age of 6 in Scotland. Since 14 November it is available for eligible children under the age of 16 and increased in value to £25 a week for each child.  

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you live in Scotland, you receive a low-income benefit such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, or Pension Credit; and have responsibility for a child or children under the age of 16.

What you need to do

If you are eligible, and have responsibility for one or more children aged 6 to15, you need to take action to ensure you receive the support you are entitled to.

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.