Free school meals - who qualifies?

Free school meals ensure that children receive a free, balanced and healthy meal during the school day if they need it.

This service is delivered discreetly so that it is not obvious to other children that your child is receiving this service.

Pupil Equity Fund

Schools receive £1200 funding from the Scottish Government for each pupil between P1 and S3 who is registered for free school meals. This is called Pupil Equity Funding and schools use the money to help fund a wide range of initiatives to support achievement.

If you are eligible for free school meals (see eligibility criteria below), please apply for your child(ren). Even if your child does not wish to take up the option of having the free school meal every day, we would encourage you to apply so that the school will receive the Pupil Equity Funding to support learning.

Children in P1, 2 and 3

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

People receiving the following benefits should complete a free school meal application form to ensure they are not charged for school milk.

  • Income support
  • Income based job seekers allowance
  • Universal Credit (from the 1 August 2017 you will only be entitled to Free School Meals if you are in receipt of Universal Credit and your monthly take home pay is less than £610)
  • Employment support allowance (income related)
  • Child tax credit but NOT working tax credit with an annual income less than £16,105
  • Child tax credit AND working tax credit with an annual income less than £6,420

Children and young people from P4 upwards

We provide free school meals to children who are attending East Lothian Council schools and whose parents or carers are receiving:

  • Income support
  • Income based job seekers allowance
  • Universal Credit (from the 1 August 2017 you will only be entitled to Free School Meals if you are in receipt of Universal Credit and your monthly earned income is less than £610)
  • Employment support allowance (income related)
  • Child tax credit but NOT working tax credit with an annual income less than £16,105
  • Child tax credit AND working tax credit with an annual income less than £6,420

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.

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.

Will you be eligible for other help?

You may also be able to get a school clothing grant, which you can claim for on the same form you use to apply for free school meals.

Charges

There is no charge for applying for free school meals.