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 for the current school year.

Do not apply yet for the new school year starting in August 2021 - applications are not yet open.

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.

Clothing Grant applications for the current school year closed on 31 March 2021.

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 make payments to the bank account we hold for your clothing grant.

Holiday payments

Free School Meals payments have been made for all pupils up to 12 March 2021.

On 15 March 2021, a Free School Meals payment of £35.00 per child was made for secondary pupils only as they returned to school on blended learning. This payment is for the period 15 March 2021 to 01 April 2021.

Free School Meals payments of £30.00 per child were made to all pupils for the Easter holidays for the period 02 April 2021 to 19 April 2021. This was paid together with the Spring Hardship Payment.

Spring Hardship Payment

The Scottish Government’s Spring Hardship Payment includes a one-off payment of £100 per child for all children in receipt of Free School Meals before the Easter holiday.

This payment was included with the Easter holiday Free School Meal payment.

If you receive payments into your bank account, a payment of £130.00 per child made up of £100 Spring Hardship Payment plus £30.00 Easter holiday Free School Meals payment was paid into your account on 29 March 2021.

If you receive a Paypoint payment, payments were issued between 29 March 2021 and 31 March 2021.

If you have a nursery age child, and you meet the conditions for free school meals, you can apply online for the Early Years Spring Hardship Payment. Apply before 30 April 2021.

Apply for Early Years Spring Hardship Payment

Self-isolation payments

If 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.

As Free School Meals payments were made to all secondary school children up to 01 April 2021, self-isolation payments only apply for primary school children for the period 15 March 2021 to 01 April 2021.

If your primary school child was registered as absent from school due to Covid-19 reasons between these dates, a Free School Meals payment of £20.00 per child will be made.

If you receive payments into your bank account, you will receive the payment by 20 April 2021.

Paypoint payments were made on 15 April 2021.

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.