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Service updates and advice

Free school meals

The Free School Meal Paypoint Voucher System will restart from Friday 15 January to cover the following:

  • All P1-3 pupils who receive free school meals through Universal Entitlement.
  • P4-P7 and S1-S6 pupils currently in receipt of free school meals, registered as at Monday 17 March 2020.

Parents and Guardians of pupils who receive a free school meal will be sent out a voucher code for £15 each week (£15.00 per child per week) either by SMS or Post depending on the information held on record. Please note the first payment is slightly higher (£24) to cover all school days as from Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Find your nearest PayPoint store.

These payments have been approved up to 29 January 2021 pending further advice from the Scottish Government.

Free school meals and clothing grants

Free school meals

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.


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Page last updated:
26 Jan 2021

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