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Free school meals and clothing grants

Applications update

We are currently managing around 10,000 applications and payments will be made to families as soon as this process is finalised.

We encourage anyone who is entitled to a Clothing Grant or Free School Meals to apply as soon as possible.

You may be entitled to apply for free school meals if your child attends a North Lanarkshire school.

All Primary 1 to 5 children are automatically entitled to receive a free school meal.


Free school meals and clothing grant eligibility table
Benefits received School meals Clothing grant Proof required
Income Support  Yes Yes Letter confirming entitlement to benefit
Job Seekers Allowance (Income-based)  Yes Yes Letter confirming entitlement to benefit
Employment & Support Allowance (Income Related)  Yes  Yes Letter confirming entitlement to benefit
Universal Credit (earned income reported by employer of £660) Yes Yes Letter confirming entitlement to benefit
Child Tax Credit (gross annual income less than £17,005 and no element of working tax)  Yes No Current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602A)
Maximum child tax credit and working tax credit (gross maximum income below £7920)  Yes No Current Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602A) 
Support under V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Yes No  Confirmation letter/Home Office
Housing Benefit (housing element of Universal Credit is not housing benefit) No  Yes Current Letter to show receipt of Housing Benefit
Council Tax Reduction (Single persons discount/exemption is not council tax reduction) No Yes Current Letter to show receipt of Council Tax rebate

Applying for Free School Meals and Clothing Grant

If you have not received a letter advising that you will receive an automatic award and think you will qualify for Free School Meals and/or School Clothing Grant due to your financial circumstances, please complete the application form below.

The deadline for school clothing grants applications for this school academic year is 31 March 2023.

Home-educated children and young people

If your child is home educated and you would like to be assessed for eligibility for Free School Meal Holiday Payments and Scottish Government Bridging Payments, you should also complete and submit this form.

Please indicate within the 'school' field that your child is home educated.

Early Years provision

If your child is aged between 2 and 4 years and attends a council nursery for more than four hours per day they may be entitled to a free meal and/or essential clothing grant. Parents must be in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits above or in receipt of State Pension Credit or Incapacity and Severe Disablement Allowance.

Your child will also be entitled if they are or have been at any point since their second birthday 'looked after', the subject of a kinship care or guardianship order. Students aged between 16 and 18 and who receive any of the qualifying benefits can apply for free school meals in their own right.

Returning 16+ students

Students who will be 16 years of age or over by 30 September (children of school leaving age) should be included on your form.

Clothing grant payments will not be made until pupils return to school in the new session and this has been confirmed by the school.

If you have any enquiries please contact the Free School Meals and Clothing Grant Team on 01698 403203 or email


Applications will be processed as soon as possible. We will then contact you with a payment date.

For session 2022-2023 the clothing grant is:

  • £140 for early years and primary school pupils
  • £150 for secondary pupils

Payment will be made by BACS payment directly into your bank/building society account.

If you have any problems regarding your payment you should call the team 01698 403203 or email

Only one clothing grant will be paid for any pupil during a school year.

Change of circumstances

It is your responsibility to notify the team of any change in circumstances as this could affect your entitlement.

Dietary provision

If you receive qualifying benefits and your child has any special dietary needs this should not disqualify parents from making an application.

Free School Meals can be provided to children with medically diagnosed dietary needs.


If your application for a clothing grant is refused and you disagree with the decision you can submit a letter detailing the grounds on which you wish to appeal. This should be sent to:

Head of Education & Families
Civic Centre
Windmillhill Street
Motherwell  ML1 1AB

Page last updated:
23 Feb 2023

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