Renfrewshire Council

Free school meals and clothing grants

You may be able to apply for free school meals and a clothing grant if you are a parent or guardian of a child and are in receipt of particular benefits.

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Additional financial payment - October break

By Friday 8 October, we will make two payments to parents of children and young people attending primary or secondary school who are entitled to a free school meal on the basis of low income.

The first payment of £160 is a bridging payment as part of the roll-out of the Scottish Child Payment being extended to children aged six and older.

The second payment of £13.50 is in place of free school meals over the October break.

That means the total paid per child will be £173.50.

For children in primary one to four year groups, you will only receive a payment if you are entitled to receive free school meals on the basis of low income and you have applied for free school meals. You can apply for free school meals using our MyAccount form.

If you have already applied for free school meals this school year (August 2021 to June 2022), you do not need to apply again. 

Nursery children are not eligible for a payment because they are already entitled to the Scottish Child Payment. You can apply for additional benefits on the Social Security Scotland website.


What is included in free school meals

This gives your child one free meal on every day that they are at school.

All children in Primary 1 to Primary 4 get a free school meal as part of Scottish Government policy.

If your child, or the child you care for, is in Primary 5 or above, you can apply online for free school meals

You can apply for free school meals at any time in the school year.

Free school meal applications received now are only paid from the date the application is processed. The payment is not backdated.


    What a clothing grant is

    A clothing grant is a payment to help you buy school uniforms. If you qualify, we'll give you one grant for each child during any school year. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a clothing grant for nursery children.

    The clothing grant is £120 per eligible primary school pupil and £150 per eligible secondary school pupil. 


    Who can apply for clothing grants and free school meals

    You can apply for free school meals and or clothing grants if

    • your child, or the child you care for, goes to a Renfrewshire primary, secondary or special school
    • you receive specific benefits, see the table below.
    Benefit ReceivedFree School MealsClothing GrantProof Required
    Dated within the past six months
    Income SupportYesYesDWP award letter or current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602) which
    shows entitlement to this benefit. All pages required
    Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)YesYesDWP award letter or current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602) which
    shows entitlement to this benefit. All pages required
    Employment & Support Allowance
    (Income Related)
    YesYesDWP award letter or current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602) which
    shows entitlement to this benefit. All pages required
    Child Tax Credit with a gross annual income below £16,105 with no element of Working Tax CreditYesYesCurrent Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602). All pages required
    Maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit with annual income below £7,500YesYesCurrent Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602). All pages required
    Support Under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999YesYes

    Confirmation Letter/Home Office

    Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of not more than £625YesYesUniversal Credit awards notice 
    Housing BenefitNoYesCurrent Letter to show receipt of Housing Benefit
    Council Tax reductionNoYesCurrent Letter to show receipt of Council Tax reduction
    Working Tax Credit with an annual income under £16,105NoYesCurrent Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602). All pages required
    Child Tax Credit with an annual income under £16,105NoYes

    Current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602). All pages required


    What evidence you need to provide

    Have a look at the table above for details of the proof you need to give us to support your application.

    All Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Housing Benefit/Council Tax award letters must be dated within the past six months.

    If you need a copy of your award letter, you can contact the relevant government department:


    Apply for a clothing grant or free school meals

    You can apply online for a clothing grant and free school meals.

    You must attach the proof of benefits you currently receive and include the supporting evidence asked for on the form.


    Clothing grant payments are made by faster payment direct to your bank account or by a cheque that will be posted to you. Normally, you'll get the payment within three weeks of your application being approved. 

    If you don't have a bank account yourself, you can use a trusted account (e.g. a relative) as this will ensure payment is received quickly.  It also allows you to receive ongoing payments for Free School Meals while schools are operating with coronavirus restrictions.

    If your child is 16 (before 30 September) and could leave school after June, you can still apply for a clothing grant and free school meals for them. 

    If you are applying for a child who has never attended a Renfrewshire Council nursery or school before, we must wait until that child is enrolled before processing your application.