Your child can get free meals in school if you get:
- Universal Credit (where your 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
Your child is also entitled to free school lunches if you get:
- Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105
- both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and have an income of up to £7,330
Free lunches for children before they go to school
All children in funded early learning and childcare can get free lunches.
Your child can also get a free lunch in early learning and childcare if you get any of the benefits above.
Contact your childcare provider or local council to find out more.
16-18 year olds
If you're 16-18 years old and receive any of the above benefits in your own right, you can claim free school lunches.
Getting free lunches if you're not getting benefits or tax credits
Your child might still get a free lunch in school, early learning or childcare if you're experiencing financial hardship. This could be because:
- your immigration status means you can not get help from the government
- you're still waiting on your first Universal Credit notice
Your child may also be able to get a free lunch if at any point since they were aged 2 they've been:
- looked after
- had a Kinship Care Order
- had a Guardianship Order
Contact your local council for more information.
Free school meals in primary 1,2 and 3
Every child in Scotland at a local council school can get free school lunches during term-time in primary 1, 2 and 3. This applies to all children in these years - your family's financial circumstances do not matter.
Contact your child's school or local council if your child is not getting free lunches at this age.
Some children in funded childcare before starting school (early learning and childcare) can also get free meals.
Apply for free school lunches
You can apply for free school lunches on your local council's website. You may be able to apply for help with school clothing costs at the same time.
Other free food and drink in schools
Some local councils and schools offer other free food and drink for pupils including free:
Check with your child's school or your local council to find out what's available in your area.
Catering for dietary requirements
If your child has a special dietary need (for example an allergy or a religious requirement) their school should cater for it.
Contact your local council if it does not currently cater for your child's need.