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Free school meals and clothing grants

Update: Thursday 18 March 2021

Direct payments to parents/carers of secondary pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to cover the days pupils are remote learning from home.

This will remain in place until all pupils return to school on a full time basis.

Payments will now be paid in two weekly intervals.

For example: for the period covering 15/03/2021 to 19/03/2021 this will be paid week commencing 22/03/2021 and the next payment will be week commencing 05/04/2021.

You may be entitled to apply for free schools meals if your child attends a North Lanarkshire school. All Primary 1 to 3 children are automatically entitled to receive a free school meal.

Applying for free school meals

To apply, please download and complete a free school meals application form below (address details are on the form).

Once we've made a decision, we'll contact you using the mobile number or email address you supplied, or by letter.

We will let the school know once a new application has been accepted.


If you receive any of the following benefits and your child attends a North Lanarkshire school then you can apply for free school meals:

  • Income support
  • Job seekers allowance (income based)
  • Employment and support allowance (income related)
  • Universal credit (max. monthly income of £610)
  • Child tax credit (gross annual income less than £16,105 and no element of working tax credit)
  • In receipt of both maximum child tax credit and maximum working tax credit (gross maximum income below £7330) 
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Application for free school meals and clothing grant 2020-2021

North Lanarkshire Child Payment

Q Do I have to apply for the North Lanarkshire Child Payment for low income families?

No application for the £100 North Lanarkshire Child Payment will be required if you are already in receipt of Free School Meals/School Clothing Grant on the basis of low income eligibility.

Q When will I receive the North Lanarkshire Child Payment?

This will be paid into bank accounts week from Monday 25 January, however, this can take a few days to clear so could be a few days after.

Q How much will I receive?

The North Lanarkshire Child Payment of £100 is per child and not per household.

For payments made into Bank Accounts families with more than one child will receive one payment for all children, eg 2 children payment of £200, 3 children payment of £300, etc.

For payments made through Paypoint families with more than one child will receive one SMS or Post Voucher per child, eg 2 children 2 separate payments of £100, 3 children 3 separate payments of £100, etc.  Please note SMS Vouchers will show as at text message from “Cash Out” with a 7 day expiry date, post vouchers will be sent in a letter with a 14 day expiry date.  These vouchers can be redeemed for cash at any local Paypoint Store. 

Locate your local Paypoint Store:

Q What if my bank account information has changed?

If your Bank Account information has changed since your online application for Free School meals, please email  and we can check and resolve any issues.

Q Can you confirm the eligibility criteria for the North Lanarkshire Child Payment?

Eligibility for Free School Meals based on low income, is as set out below:

  1. A child is eligible to receive Free School Meals, where the household is in receipt of: 
  • Universal Credit (where monthly earned income is not more than £610)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance 
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance;  support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  1. A child is also eligible to receive Free School Meals, where the household is in receipt of:

    • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and household income is less than £16,105;
    • both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and have an income of up to £7,330.
  2. A child might still get a free lunch in school if their household experience financial hardship. This could be because:

    • Their immigration status means they cannot get help from the government;
    • They're still waiting on their first Universal Credit notice.


Contact us

Page last updated:
18 Mar 2021

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