Free school meals and clothing grant

Financial support for school children

If you have school-age children and are on a low income, you may be entitled to financial support towards school meals and school clothing.

Free school meals

Meals are free for all P1 to P4 children. You can apply for free school meals for children from P5 to S6.

During school holidays we pay the cash value of your child's school meals into your bank account

Grants for school clothes and footwear

£130 for primary and £150 for secondary school children.


Your child can get free school meals and a grant for clothing and footwear if you receive:

  • Universal Credit – where you earn less than £660 a month
  • Income Support
  • Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Your child is also entitled to free school lunches, but not clothing allowance, if you get:

  • Child Tax Credit – but not Working Tax Credit and earn less than £17,005
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit – and earn less than £7,500 a year

More information on the Scottish Government website.

Free meals for nursery-age children

Your child can get free lunches if they have a funded place or if you qualify under the eligibility criteria. Free meals for nursery-age children are only available during the nursery term, not during holidays.


Children in early learning and childcare are not eligible for clothing grants.

Financial hardship

Families experiencing financial hardship can also apply for free school meals if:

  • your immigration status means you can’t get Government help
  • you're waiting on Universal Credit
  • your child had a Kinship Care Order or Guardianship Order

Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments

The Scottish Government published details of Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments on 30 August 2021.

Read the Scottish Government's guidance on Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments

Payment arrangements for October 2022

We will pay £130 to each P1 to S6 pupil who is entitled to free school meals because their parent or guardian:

  • is in receipt of low income
  • receives a qualifying benefit

In addition, we'll pay:

  • £2.40 per child for each weekday during the 10 October to 21 October 2022 holiday period
  • £2.40 per eligible child due to the schools being closed for the Queen’s funeral on 19 September 2022

In total, this is £26.40.

Stirling Council has also agreed to top up this payment up from our budget by £20 per week per child. As the October holidays are for 2 weeks, you will receive an additional £40 per child.

This means that a total payment of £196.40 will be made for each eligible child. These funds will be in your account no later than Monday 10 October 2022.

Families can use this payment as they see fit.