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 2016 and 28 February 2017, you can apply between 1 June 2021 and 28 February 2022.

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 your financial circumstances have changed, you can still apply for Free School Meals only (Clothing Grant closed on 31/03/21) 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 (Clothing Grant applications closed on 31/03/21) 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 £7,330.

How to apply

To apply for Free School Meals only, contact

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.

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.