Free school meals, milk and school clothing grants

Low income families can get

  • free school meals
  • 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.


Use this form to apply for school grants for children attending primary or secondary school.

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

Only one form is required per academic year.

Apply for school grants

Download our privacy notice (PDF)

P1 to P3

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

Contacting us

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

[email protected].

If you contact us 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 £100 for each 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.

Other payments

If you meet the conditions for free school meals you may be entitled to other payments to help with meals during school holidays, closures or if your child has to self isolate.

You don't need to apply separately. We will paid these to the bank account we hold for your clothing grant.

Winter Support Fund

The Scottish Government's Winter Support Fund includes a one-off payment of £100 per child before Christmas. This has been paid to eligible families who applied before 23 December 2020.

Self-isolation payments

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

This applies if your child was registered as absent from school from 16 November 2020 until term ended. There are no payment for absences before 16 November.

The first payments will be made on 6 January 2021. We will contact you if we don’t have payment details for you.

If a child was absent between

  • 16 November and 11 December, the payment is £22.50 for the self-isolation period of 14 days.
  • 14 December and 22 December, the payment is £15.75.

Holiday payments

A payment of £2.25 is made for every day during school holidays, closures or where remote or learning is in place.

Payments have already been made to families for the October and Christmas holidays.

If you apply for free school meals after 23 December you are not entitled to the Christmas payment or the Winter Support Fund, but you may be eligible to receive payments for the February midterm and Easter 2021 holidays.

Families in receipt of free school meals who received £122.50 per child before Christmas will receive a further £18 per child  on 6 January 2021 to cover the extended Christmas holiday.

Renewing your award in 2021

If you get housing benefit 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.

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 send you a letter in the summer. We ask you to confirm your bank account details before we pay your clothing grant.

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.

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.