Free School Meals and Clothing Grants
Free school meals
All P1-P5 children are eligible for free school meals. There is no need to complete any paperwork for this benefit. Information regarding the roll out of free school meals to the remaining primary school year groups (P6-P7) will be provided in 2022.
Children who are eligible for free school meals will be credited with a daily allowance within the cashless catering system used in primary schools and in secondary school the child's NEC card will be credited with a daily allowance.
A discretionary grant towards the costs of school clothing and footwear can be claimed from P1. The grant is a standard amount per child per year, but the amount may vary year to year. Only one clothing grant claim can be made per child for each year (1 April-31 March).
Check your eligibility
You can make a claim for free school meals or a clothing grant if you are receiving any of the following benefits:
• Income Support
• Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance
• Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
• Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit, with an income of less than £17,005
• Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an income of up to £7,920
• Support under Part VI - Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of not more than £660
If you are aged 16-18 years old, you may make a claim for free school meals and clothing grants, in your own right, if you receive any of the benefits that make you eligible.
If you are eligible for an EMA, you can’t apply for a clothing grant but can still request free school meals.
Make an application
If you are eligible and wish to make a new claim, complete an application form (PDF) and return directly, with the evidence requested on the form, to the Revenues Section. You can contact the Revenues Section to request an application form by post.
If you received free school means or a clothing grant in session 2021-22 then you do not need to reapply, the Revenues Section will contact you automatically by post. If you have not heard from them by 1 Aug 2022, you can contact the Revenues Section.
• Claims will not be backdated and will only come into force once the Revenues Section has received the assessed form.
• Free school meals stop when you no longer receive any of the eligible benefits
• If you are in receipt of Tax Credits we will need to see your latest Tax Credit Award Notice
• It is your responsibility to inform the Revenues Section of any change in circumstances affecting Free School Meals/Clothing Grant.
How it is paid
Primary school children who are eligible for free school meals will have a daily credit added to their account on the school cashless catering system (iPay). Secondary school children will have a daily credit added to their NEC card. In both cases the schools will be notified.
Clothing grants will be paid directly into the bank account of the parent/guardian who has signed the application form.
When your circumstances change
If your household income changes, the Benefits Service will advise the school who will stop issuing school meal tickets or crediting the NEC card.
Customer Contact Team