Free school meals, milk and school clothing grants

Low income families can get

  • free school meals
  • payment for lunches during school holidays
  • milk
  • a school clothing grant to help buy school clothes

for their children attending primary and secondary schools.

Find out if you match the conditions for free school meals on the Scottish Government website. If you match these conditions you qualify for free milk and a clothing grant.

Renewing your award in 2021

If you get housing benefit or council tax reduction, in most cases we can use information we hold about your benefits to give you an automatic award each year.

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 and you need to re-apply.

If you qualify for an automatic award for the 2021-22 school year, we will send you a letter in the summer.

If you received a free school meals summer holiday payment and Family Pandemic Payment in June 2021, we’ll automatically pay your clothing grant and holiday payments using the payment details we already hold. Clothing grants will be paid before the new school year starts on 18 August 2021You need to tell us if your bank details have changed since this payment was made. 

If you are receiving an automatic award for the first time, we ask you to confirm your bank account details so we pay your clothing grant and holiday payments.

You won’t get an automatic award if at the time you

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

Apply or confirm your payment details

Fill in this form for your children attending primary or secondary school for the new school year starting in August 2021

  • if you received an automatic award and need to confirm your bank account details
  • to apply for school grants for children if you did not receive an automatic award.

Do not use this form to apply for children in nursery or other early years settings.

Only one form is required per school year.

Apply for school grants or confirm payment details

Download our privacy notice (PDF)

P1 to P4

All children in primary 1 to 4 receive universal free school meals from August 2021. You are not automatically entitled to meal payments during holidays, free milk or a clothing grant - you must meet the income-based eligibility criteria and apply for these.

Contacting us

Due to working remotely we can't take calls just now. Email

[email protected].

Please give your

  • full name
  • address
  • children's names
  • Housing Benefit or Council Tax reference number.

We receive a high volume of emails and will get back to you as soon as we can.


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

  • each child with one school meal and milk each day they attend school
  • payments to help with meals during school holidays
  • a clothing grant payment of £120 for each primary child and £150 for each secondary child, paid once a year 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.

Self-isolation payments

If your child had to self-isolate between 9 June 2021 and 18 June 2021, a payment of £20.00 per child will be made.

If you receive payments into your bank account, you will receive the payment by 2 July 2021.

Paypoint payments were made on 28 June 2021.

If your child had to self-isolate between 19 June 2021 and 25 June 2021, a payment of £20.00 per child will be made.

If you receive payments into your bank account, you will receive the payment by 6 July 2021.

Paypoint payments were made on 1 July 2021.

School Holiday payments / Winter Family Pandemic Payment

Scottish Government has announced funding for Free School Meals payments during school holidays.

Free School Meals payments will be made for the October, Christmas, February and Easter holidays to families with an income-based eligibility for Free School Meals.

We will use the bank or payment details you provide for your Clothing Grant to make these payments.

If your bank details change, you must tell us at least 2 weeks before the holiday period starts.

Scottish Government announced that Local Authorities will issue a Winter £100 pandemic support payment for children and young people of school age (P1-S6 education) in receipt of Free School Meals based on low-income eligibility criteria.

The payments will be £100 per eligible child/young person.

If your child receives Free School Meals before the Christmas holiday, the payment will be made automatically using the payment details we currently hold for you. You do not need to make a separate application for this payment.

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.