Free school meals, milk and school clothing 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 P4

The Scottish Government funds universal free school meals for all children in primary 1 to 4, and 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 or confirm your payment details

Fill in this form for your children attending primary or secondary school

  • 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)


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 / Scottish Child Bridging Payments

The Scottish Government funds 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 two weeks before the holiday period starts.

The Scottish Government announced that Local Authorities will issue Scottish Child Bridging Payments to families of children and young people of school age (P1-S6 education) in receipt of Free School Meals based on low-income eligibility criteria.

If your child receives income-based Free School Meals before the Christmas holiday, a 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.

The Winter 2021 payment is £192.50 per child. This payment includes

  • a £32.50 Christmas holiday Free School Meals payment, and
  • a £160 Winter Bridging Payment.

Payments will be made into bank accounts on 6 December 2021.

Paypoint payments will be made between 29 November 2021 and 10 December 2021.

Only applications received up to 17 December 2021 will be eligible to receive the Christmas Free School Meals holiday payment and Winter Bridging Payment.

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 this payment on the Scottish Government website.

Self-isolation payments

If a pupil is in receipt of free school meals and is registered as absent by the school due to having to self-isolate for Covid-19 reasons, a free school meals payment of £20 will be made.

If your child had to self-isolate between 26 October 2021 and 11 November 2021:

  • Paypoint payments were made on 11 November 2021
  • Payments will be made to bank accounts by 15 November 2021

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.

Contact us

Please use our 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.

Contact us