Free school meals and school clothing grants

Who can apply?

All children in primaries 1 to 5 are entitled to free school meals, regardless of their family's income..

Entitlement to free school meals for older children, as well as the school clothing grant, is assessed as part of the application for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction.

Apply for a school clothing grant or free school meals using the form below if you claim any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit and where your income is less than £17,005
  • Working Tax Credit, and where your income is less than £17,005 (this only applies to the clothing grant)
  • Support provided under Part VI the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £660
  • Pupils who receive any of these benefits in their own right can also claim free school meals

Your child is also entitled to free school lunches if you receive both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £7920.

How to apply

If you don’t receive Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction you can apply for both benefits using the same form:

apply for Free School Meals/School Clothing Grant

The clothing grant

In 2022-23 the amount of school clothing grant for eligible primary school pupils is £120 for each child and for eligible secondary school pupils it is £150 for each child. You can only apply once in any financial year (1 April to 31 March).

Young people who are 16 years old by 30 September won’t get a grant. Apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance instead.

School meal allowances

Secondary school pupils will have an allowance of £2.20 per day and if the school operates a swipe card system their entitlement can also be used during the morning break.

This amount will be credited to the pupil's cashless catering account on a daily basis and any unused credit will be removed from the pupil's account at the end of the day.