Free school meals, milk and school clothing grants

About school grants

Application update - 29 October

New applications for Free School Meals and Clothing Grants are being processed as quickly as possible with an expected turnaround time of 10 days.

You will be contacted if we required additional information to complete your application, however all applicants will be contacted when application has been processed.

Due to working remotely we are not able to take calls just now. You can contact us by email at: [email protected]. Please provide your full name, address and benefit reference number (if you have one) to help us respond to you quicker. We are receiving a high volume of emails and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Free school meals 'holiday payment'

If you were getting Free School Meals before the October holiday and we have your bank details, we will make a payment of £13.50 per child to your account by 30 October.

If we don’t have your payment details, we sent you a letter on 29 October which will tells you how you can send us your payment details.

If you have children in P1 to P3, they are not automatically entitled to the October holiday payment. You must have received a Clothing Grant or have an income-based entitlement for the current term.

If you applied for Free School Meals before the October holidays and haven’t been awarded yet, we will automatically consider your entitlement to payments during the October holiday when we process your application. You don’t need to contact us about this separately.

If you haven’t been getting Free School Meals and haven’t applied yet, you must apply by 30 November so we can work out if you are entitled to the October holiday payments. You can apply after 30 November but you will not get the October holiday payment.

About school grants

Low income families can get free school meals, milk and a school clothing grant to help towards buying school clothes for their children.

Find out if you match the conditions to claim free school meals on the Scottish Government website.

If you match these conditions you will also qualify for free milk and a clothing grant.

All children in primary 1 to 3 receive free school meals automatically, but not meal payments during holidays, free milk or a clothing grant. You must match the criteria and apply for these.

If you contact us please give your full name, address and names of all children. It would also be helpful if you can give us your Housing Benefit or Council Tax reference number.

Download our privacy notice - PDF


Each award is valid for one school year. The award provides

  • each child with one school meal and milk each day they attend school
  • a clothing grant payment of £100 for each child.

We pay one clothing grant per year, per child, into your bank account. We pay clothing grants between July until 31 March the following year. Most clothing grants are paid throughout July and August before the new school year begins.

Renewing your award

If you get housing benefit and/or council tax reduction, in most cases we can use information we already hold about your benefits to give you an automatic award each year. Data from our school records is matched against our benefits records to identify families who are eligible.

In some cases, data on the school records does not match the information held on our benefits records. When this happens, we cannot automatically award.

If you qualify for an automatic award, we send you a letter. We will ask you to confirm your bank account details using the form below before we pay your clothing grant.

Parents who qualified for an automatic award for the 2020-21 school year were notified by letter in July 2020.

You won’t get an automatic award if

  • you do not currently get housing benefit or a reduction on your council tax
  • you receive tax credits or support under Immigration and Asylum Act
  • you live outside the City of Edinburgh Council area.

Apply or confirm your payment details

If you did get an automatic award, use this form to confirm your bank account details.

If you didn't get an automatic award, use this form to apply for school grants.

Apply for school grants or confirm payment details

Other support with school clothing

The Edinburgh Police Fund for Children helps families buy school footwear and jackets. Grants are normally up to £50 per child.

Edinburgh School Uniform Bank provides new school uniforms for children in families in financial hardship. To get a referral for this contact your

  • pupil support worker
  • head teacher
  • social worker
  • education welfare officer
  • support worker.