Free school meals, milk and school clothing grants

Payment update 25 April 2022 - end of self-isolation payments

Self-isolation payments will stop after the Easter holidays as there will be no means of validating whether an absence is due to Covid or another illness.

Therefore, any absences after the Easter holidays will not be recorded by the school as self-isolation for Covid reasons.

About school grants

Families on low income can apply for school grants to help with the cost of lunches and school clothing.

If you match the conditions for free school meals on the Scottish Government website you will be eligible for

  • free school meals
  • payment for lunches during school holidays
  • free milk
  • a school clothing grant to help buy school clothes
  • a child bridging payment four times a year

for your children attending primary and secondary schools. They are not available to children in early years settings.

Only one application form is required to apply for these grants.

Children in P1 to P5

The Scottish Government funds universal free school meals for all children in primary 1 to 4, and in primary 5 from January 2022. However, this does not automatically entitle you to receive the meal payments during holidays, free milk, clothing grant or child bridging payment. You must meet the income-based eligibility criteria.

Apply for school grants

You can use this form to apply for your children attending primary or secondary school.

Applications are for the current school year (ending June 2022) - do not use this form to apply for the 2022-2023 year.

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

Download our privacy notice (PDF)

Award

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.

School Holiday payments and Scottish Child Bridging Payments

The Scottish Government funds additional payments for families with an income-based eligibility to Free School Meals. They are free school meals payments during school holidays and Scottish Child Bridging Payments.

If you have applied for and been awarded free school meals and a clothing grant, payment will be made automatically using the payment details we currently hold for you. You do not need to make a separate application for these payments.

If your bank details change, you must tell us immediately using our contact schools transactions form.

Both payments are made just before a school holiday, except the February mid-term break where only a holiday payment is made.

Payments for each holiday will be

  • October mid-term break - £175 per child (made up of £15 holiday payment and £160 bridging payment) paid on 11 October 2021
  • Christmas holiday - £192.50 per child (made up of £32.50 holiday payment and £160 bridging payment) paid on 6 December 2021
  • February mid-term break - £12.50 per child holiday payment only (no bridging payment) paid on 14 February 2022
  • Easter holiday - £255 per child (made up of £25 holiday payment, £130 bridging payment and one-off £100 low-income household payment) paid on 28 March 2022
  • Summer holiday - to be paid by 1 July 2022.

Pre-school/nursery aged children are not eligible for this payment. The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6. Find out more about the Scottish child payment on the Scottish Government website.

Low Income Household Payment

At the budget meeting on 24 February 2022, Councillors agreed that families with an income-based eligibility to Free School Meals will receive a one-off payment of £100 per child to help meet rising household costs.

This was paid alongside the Easter School Holiday Free School Meals payment and the Spring Scottish Child Bridging 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

  • teacher
  • support worker at school
  • health visitor
  • family support worker
  • social worker
  • youth worker
  • maximise worker.

The Edinburgh School Uniform Bank also provides batches of excellent quality nearly-new school uniform to schools and community groups for them to pass on to local families. Ask your school, youth club or community group about this.

Contact us

Use our schools transactions online contact form for any enquiries you have. Due to working remotely we can't take calls just now.

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