Free school meals and help with schoolwear

We can provide children with free school meals and financial assistance towards the purchase of school clothing. The current amount payable is £100 per qualifying child.

All children in primary one to three are automatically eligible for a free school meal. For all other children to qualify, you must meet one of the following criteria.

Free school meals

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an annual income less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit with an annual income less than £6,420
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit with monthly earnings less than £610

If you are receiving Tax Credits and have received a renewal request from HMRC, the deadline for renewing your Tax Credits was 31st July 2018 If you have not renewed by this date, your Tax Credit award may be cancelled and you may be asked to pay back any money you have received in 2018/19.

If your Tax Credit award is cancelled you can re-apply and ask for it to be backdated.  However, if the request to backdate your application is not successful the whole application may be refused and you may need to apply for Universal Credit, depending on your circumstances.

This means that if you are not in receipt of a passported benefit, you will have to apply for Free School Meals and Clothing Grants on the basis of your Universal Credit entitlement.  As Universal Credit takes around five weeks to assess, your application for Free School Meals or Clothing Grants may therefore be delayed.

If you are already in receipt of Universal Credit this does not impact you, and your Free School Meals or Clothing Grants application will be calculated on this basis.

School clothing and footwear grant

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit and/or maximum Child Tax Credit with an income less than £16,105
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit with  monthly earnings less than £610

The clothing grant is only paid once per child per school year between August and the following March.

How to apply or renew

If you are renewing you will need your claim number from your renewal letter.

Apply for or renew free school meals and clothing grants