Free school meals

Free school meals are provided for all pupils in Primary 1, 2 and 3 as well as those families on qualifying benefits.

Free School Meals can lead to a large saving each year, parents of primary school children can potentially save £361 and parents of secondary pupils can potentially save £370.  You will also be helping your child's school if you qualify for Free School Meals. Some Scottish Government funding provided directly to schools is linked to the numbers of pupils who are registered as entitled to free school meals.

Qualifying Criteria

Your child will receive free school meals if you are in receipt of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job seeker's Allowance (Income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income based)
  • Child Tax Credit on its own, with an annual taxable income of less than £16,105 (subject to change)
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an annual taxable income of less than £6,900 (subject to change)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of not more than £610

Process

1. Families in Receipt of Council Tax Reduction

Existing Families in receipt of Free School Meals/Clothing Grant

Families currently receiving Free School Meals/School Clothing Grant that are currently in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, will automatically be reassessed and payments will be issued. This assessment of Free School Meals will also include £134 School Clothing Grant for all eligible children.

If you are still eligible the following year, your award will automatically roll over. You must tell us if there are any changes to your circumstances,  you can do this by completing a change in circumstances form, which can be found below.

  • Change of parent/carer to be awarded the Clothing Grant
  • Change of bank details
  • Change of address
  • Additional Children

Families not currently in receipt of Free School Meals/Clothing Grant.

Auto Enrolment - If you are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and do not currently have Free School Meals, we will contact you if you meet the qualifying criteria above. This will be an auto award for Free School Meals/Clothing Grants, however, you will have the option to opt out.  Please look out for your letter in the post. 

This assessment of Free School Meals will also include £134 School Clothing Grant for all eligible children.

2. Families not in receipt of Council Tax Reduction

Families that are not in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, will need to submit an application form and also provide proof of benefit each school year as we will be unable to check if you meet the qualifying criteria listed above. 

You will also need to submit an application form in the below circumstances

  • live out with the region and your child (ren) attends a school within Dumfries and Galloway.
  • you are an asylum seeker receiving support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999

You must tell us if there are any changes to your circumstances, listed below, you can do this by completing a change in circumstances form, which can be found below.

  • Change of parent/carer to be awarded the Clothing Grant
  • Change of bank details
  • Change of address
  • Additional Children

Exceptional Circumstances

In addition to the criteria above, Councils are now able to use their discretion in order to provide free school meals to pupils who may be under hardship due to exceptional circumstances. An application form should be completed and you can contact us if you wish to discuss 030 33 33 3000. 

If you need to complete an application form, please see below.

Apply

Page last updated: 02/12/2019
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