Support for children and families

There’s a range of new children and family benefits available from Social Security Scotland - check out what’s new.

Free school meals

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.

Apply online and find out more about Free School Meals

Email our Education team

Phone 01620 827562

Education Maintenance Allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) gives financial support of up to £30 per week 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 EMAs. You can apply for an 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.

Apply online and find out more about EMA

Email our Education team

Phone 01620 827562

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. If you meet the qualifying criteria, you may be awarded a grant of £130 per child of primary school age and £160 per child of secondary school age.

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

To find out about support in your area: email our Connected Communities team

Your child's school can provide current information on clothing banks.

Free bus travel for under 22s

5 to 21 year olds can apply for free nationwide bus travel. Under 5s can travel free automatically.

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

Find out more and apply at:

If you need further help or can’t apply online email us at: or phone 01620 827827 and ask for Smartcards.