Other support for children and families

Free School Meals

It’s worth checking if you’re entitled to any further help with school costs. Your child may be eligible for free school meals to ensure that they receive a free, balanced and healthy meal during the school day. This is delivered discreetly so that it is not obvious to others which children are receiving this.

Eligibility for free school meals includes access to other payments throughout the year including school clothing grants and help with meals during school holidays and school closures.

Find out more about free school meals and apply. 

School Clothing Grant

You may be able to get financial help with your child’s school clothing and shoes in the form of a school clothing grant. Grants are available for both primary and secondary age children.

As well as school clothing grants, many of our local area partnership and community partners have arrangements in place to help families access warm clothing.

To find out more about support in your area, email our Connected Communities team at connectedcommunities@eastlothian.gov.uk

Your child’s school can also provide current information about their clothing banks. 

Find out more about school clothing grants and apply.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) provides financial support to eligible 16 to 19 year olds who want to continue learning.

EMA is currently paid in addition to Child Benefit and other benefits.

Young people on Job Seekers’ Allowance or on Government supported training schemes are not eligible for EMA.

You can apply for EMA if you’re attending school full time, getting home education or flexi schooling or on a full or part-time non-advanced course in a college or education centre. Other qualifying criteria applies, for example the household income.

Find out more about Education Maintenance Allowance and apply.

Free bus travel for under 22s

Five to 21-year-olds can apply for free nationwide bus travel.

Under fives can travel free automatically. The National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC is your key to unlocking free travel.

Find out more about free bus travel and apply. 

If you need further help or you can’t apply online email smartcard@eastlothian.gov.uk or or call 01620 827827 and ask for Smartcards.