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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Explanation of a free school meal

This gives your child one free meal on every day that they are at school. All children in Primary 1- Primary 3 all receive a free school meal as part of Scottish Government policy. If your child, or the child you care for, is in Primary 4 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.


Eligibility criteria

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 £7,330YesYesCurrent 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 £610YesYesUniversal 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


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:

If your child has previously received free school meals, or received a clothing grant you don't need to do anything.  We will be writing to you to ask that you confirm some details for us before we process your application. 


Apply for free school meals

If you were awarded a Clothing Grant and/or Free School Meals for your school aged children during the last school year, you were in receipt of qualifying benefits, and there have been no changes to your circumstances, you should complete our online form for the school year 2020-2021.

You will be asked for your 12 digit reference number which is located at the top left-hand corner of the letter which you received in July 2020.

If there have been any changes to your circumstances in the past year or you are applying for the first time, you will need to complete a new Clothing Grant and Free School Meals online form and attach the proof of benefits you currently receive.

Tip: if you have had a change of circumstances, or if you are applying for the first time, you must include the supporting evidence asked for on the form.


Explanation of a clothing grant

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 £100 per eligible pupil.


Apply for a clothing grant

If you were awarded a Clothing Grant and/or Free School Meals for your school aged children during the last school year, you were in receipt of qualifying benefits, and there have been no changes to your circumstances, you should now complete our online form for the school year 2020-2021.

You will be asked for your 12 digit reference number which is located at the top left-hand corner of the letter which you received in July 2020.

If there have been any changes to your circumstances in the past year or you are applying for the first time, you will need to complete a new Clothing Grant and Free School Meals online form and attach the proof of benefits you currently receive.

Tip: if you have had a change of circumstances, or if you are applying for the first time, you must include the supporting evidence asked for on the form.


Receiving my clothing grant

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 a successful application. 

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.