Clothing Grant and Free School Meals 2024/2025

If you wish to apply for free meals for the remainder of the current academic year, ending 28 June 2024, please contact Education Services, on the number shown below.

Who can apply for a clothing grant and free school meals?

From August 2024, all children in P1-P7 have automatically qualified for free school meals.

However, if you wish to be considered for the clothing grant, or your child is or will be in S1 – S6, you must submit an application form. You may qualify for a clothing grant if one of the following statements applies to your family circumstances:

  • You are currently in receipt of:
  • Income Support (IS);
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA);
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £19,995 (in 2024/2025) as assessed by HMRC;
  • Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit and have an income of no more than £15,051 (in 2024/2025) as assessed by HMRC;
  • Universal Credit, where your take home pay does not exceed £1,199,

or       

  • you are seeking asylum and receiving support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;

or

  • you look after a child/children as part of a formal Kinship Care agreement, registered by Social Work Services.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I share custody of my child with another person and/or the school system shows a different address from the one shown on the application form?

If we have a question about where your child lives, we will contact you using the information that you have provided on your application form. You will be asked to provide evidence that you receive child benefit for your child. This information is accessible on HMRC website at: - www.gov.uk/child-benefit-proof. Please note:  bank statements are not accepted as evidence that you receive Child Benefit.

As queries will delay your application, please ensure all change of details are given to the school your child attends as quickly as possible during the school year.

How much is the clothing grant?

For the academic year 2024/2025, Inverclyde Council’s clothing grant will be £150 for each school aged child in your household.

When can I apply?

You can apply now.

The last date a clothing grant application will be considered for the 2024/2025 academic year is 31 May 2025. Free school meals can be applied for until the last day of term in June 2025.

How do I apply?

Applications can be submitted electronically, using the link on Inverclyde Council’s website from a PC or a mobile device.

If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Customer Service Centre, on 01475 712844, where a member of staff will be pleased to assist.

When will my child receive free school meals?

If your application is approved during the summer holidays, free school meals will be available on the first school day back after the summer break.

For applications received at any other time, meals will be available from the first school day after Education Services have approved the application.

When will I hear about my clothing grant application?

To make sure you receive your clothing grant before schools return in August, please submit your application with the appropriate evidence of your qualifying benefit by mid-July 2024.

At all other times, clothing grant payments will be made directly into the bank account you have provided and normally around 10 days after we have a fully completed application and the appropriate evidence of your qualifying benefit.

Please ensure your bank account accepts payment by BACS transfer. If it does not, payment will be returned to the Council and your grant will be delayed.

If your child is over the school leaving age and has decided to return to school, the clothing grant payment will not be released until it has been confirmed your child has returned to school following the summer break - this means you will not receive payment for this child before the beginning of the school academic year in August 2024.

If we are unable to approve your application, we will contact you using the email address provided on your application form. If we are unable to reach you using email details, we will try your phone number.  If we are still unable to reach you, we will aim to write to you within 2 weeks of submission of your application. During busy periods this may take a little longer.

Where an application cannot be approved using the information originally submitted, we will contact you to inform you of this. If we have not heard from you within 4 weeks of this request, we will assume you do not wish to proceed with the application and your paperwork may be destroyed. If you later decide to proceed with an application, you may be asked to reapply.

Will I receive confirmation that my application has been approved or that payment has been made?

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to reply to individual applicants to confirm receipt or authorisation of an application.

Where an electronic application has been submitted successfully, a notice will appear on your screen with a message confirming submission. Please take a screenshot of this message. Should there be any issue with your application, we will ask for this message as confirmation that an application has been submitted.

An email will also be generated automatically and sent to the email address you have given on the application form. Please retain this email. Should there be any issue with your application, we will ask for this email as confirmation that an application has been submitted.

If you have not received your payment within 2 weeks of submission AND you have not received an acknowledgment, AND we have not contacted you for further information in that time, please contact us on 01475 712850 (option 2) or email EMA.HO@inverclyde.gov.uk  UNLESS your child was born before 1st October 2008.

If any of your children were born before 1st October 2008, the clothing grant will not be released until the school have confirmed they have returned to school AFTER the summer holidays, as they are no longer in compulsory education.  You should however receive an electronic acknowledgement when you submit the on-line application.

When will I receive my clothing grant, if my child is going into S5 or S6 in August?

As we need to confirm that your child has returned to school and will remain in school during the 2024/2025 academic year, clothing grants are paid after the start of the school term in August.

What if my circumstances change?

You should immediately notify Education Services of the changes by sending an email to EMA.HO@inverclyde.gov.uk. Alternatively, a letter can be sent to Education Services, Wallace Place, Greenock PA15 1JB.

What if my income levels change from month to month?

When making an application you will be asked to confirm that the income level shown on the supporting document, submitted with the application is what you expect your income level to be for the full academic year.

If, at any point in the academic year, your income exceeds the thresholds shown above you should immediately notify Education Services of the changes by sending an email to EMA.HO@inverclyde.gov.uk. Alternatively, a letter can be sent to Education Services, Wallace Place, Greenock PA15 1JB.

What if I lose my qualifying benefit?

You should immediately notify Education Services of the changes by sending an email to EMA.HO@inverclyde.gov.uk. Alternatively, a letter can be sent to Education Services, Wallace Place, Greenock PA15 1JB.

It is also your responsibility to make sure that your child’s school has the most up-to-date contact information for you. This helps reduce delays to your application.

Secondary School Transport Grant

  • If you are entitled to a clothing grant and free school meals for your child, you may also qualify for a transport grant. You do not have to provide a separate application form.

The transport grant is currently £7.25 per week during term time. It is provided to assist with the costs of transporting your child to and from school. If your child attends St Columba’s HS, separate arrangements will apply.

To qualify for the transport grant, your child must be a secondary school pupil living between 1 and 2 miles from their catchment school and be entitled to clothing grant and free school meals for the 2024/2025 academic year.

Where to get help:

Phone us on       01475 712844 or
Email us at         EMA.HO@inverclyde.gov.uk or
Write to us at      Education Services, Wallace Place, Greenock. PA15 1JB