Who is eligible for Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants

School Clothing Grants are £130 for Primary pupils and £160 for Secondary pupils.  School Clothing Grants are processed annually throughout the year.

We can also provide free school meals to ensure that children receive a free, balanced and healthy meal during the school day.  This service is delivered discreetly so that it is not obvious to other children that your child is receiving this benefit.

As of April 2024, if you receive one of the following benefits you are entitled to apply for Free School Meals and a School Clothing Grant: 

  • 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 annual income less than £19,995
  • Child Tax Credit AND Working Tax Credit with an annual income of up to £9,552
  • Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of not more than £796

Young adults aged 16 to 18 who are still at school and claiming benefits

If you are between 16 and 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in your own right, you can claim free school meals.

Children in P1 to P5

All pupils in Primary 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be entitled to a free school meal (but not free school milk or a clothing grant).

People receiving the above benefits should complete an online application form to ensure they are not charged for school milk and receive a clothing grant.

Asylum seekers

You may also be eligible to free school meals if you are an asylum seeker receiving support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The person in receipt of the benefit must make the claim.

Exceptional circumstances

If you do not receive any of the qualifying benefits, you may still qualify under exceptional circumstances.  This could be because

  • your immigration status means you cannot get help from the government
  • you're still waiting on your first Universal Credit payment

How old must your child be to qualify?

You can apply for free school meals and clothing grants for pupils between Primary 1 and school leaving age.

If your child goes to school outside East Lothian

We provide this service for pupils who are living in East Lothian and attending an East Lothian Council school.

However, where a child has severe and complex needs (e.g. a severe physical disability) which means that he or she has to be educated outside East Lothian, you may be able to receive a clothing grant if you would otherwise be eligible - that is, if you receive the correct benefits.