The Scottish Government announced additional support available to children and young people of school age (P1 to S6) in receipt of free school meals on the basis of low income eligibility.
Pandemic support payments during 2021 totalled £520 and incorporated the spring and summer payments which have already been paid, a new additional payment in October 2021 and an increased winter payment in December 2021.
Payments made by local authorities will continue to support the new Scottish Child Support (SCP) Bridging Payments.
SCP bridging payments for 2022 will total £520 and will be made quarterly in the spring, summer, autumn and winter in line with school holidays. Details can be found in the 2022 payments table below.
Payment will be made automatically by bank transfer for all eligible children and young people in receipt of free school meals. There is no separate application required for these payments but you must have registered for free school meals on the basis of low income.
All children and young people who receive free school meals on the basis of low income or on local authority discretion to promote wellbeing are eligible.
A child or young person is eligible to receive free school meals based on low income where the household is in receipt of:
- Income Support
- Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- Universal Credit (where monthly earned income is not more than £625)
- Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an annual income of less than £16,105
- both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an annual income of up to £7,500
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
A child or young person may qualify for free school meals at local authority discretion if their household experiences financial hardship. This could be because:
- their immigration status means they have no recourse to public funds
- they are still waiting on their first Universal Credit award notice
Children and young people receiving free school meals based on universal provision (P1-P3, extending to P4 from August 2021 and P5 from January 2022) are not eligible. Children receiving free lunches in Early Learning and Childcare settings are not eligible.
If your child currently receives free school meals based on universal provision (P1-4/5) but you think you are eligible on the basis of low income, you should make an application for the school clothing grant and free school meals to ensure you receive the additional support payments.
To qualify, children and young people need to be registered for free school meals on the basis of low income on the following dates in 2022:
- Spring payment - registered on 2 February or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at Easter break
- Summer payment - registered on 30 May or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at Summer break
- Autumn payment - registered on 23 September or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at October break
- Winter payment - registered on 30 November, or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at Winter break
You will receive only the payments due from the date your child becomes eligible. Payment will not be backdated so ensure you submit an application as soon as possible to receive all payments you are entitled to.
|Payment||Value||Eligibility period||Payment date|
||2 February to end of term at Easter break
- 1 April if registered by 2 February
- By end of April if registered after 2 February and before end of term
||30 May to end of term at Summer break
- 29 June if registered by 30 May
- By end of July if registered after 30 May and before end of term
||23 September to end of term at October break
- 14 October if registered by 23 September
- By end of October if registered after 23 September and before end of term
||30 November to end of term at Winter break
- 19 December if registered by 30 November
- By end of January if registered after 30 November and before end of term
Register for free school meals
If you have not previously applied for a Clothing Grant and Free School Meals but feel you may be eligible you should apply now.
If you qualify you could be entitled to a school clothing grant for each child attending school. If you are awarded free school meals you will also be entitled to the additional support payments as detailed.
Please note that before applying you will need to register for an Our East Ayrshire account if you don't already have one.
Apply for a clothing grant and free school meals
Your payment details
We will use the bank account details you provided when you received your most recent pandemic support payment or your clothing grant award. There is no need to re-submit your bank details if they remain unchanged.
If your bank details have recently changed, you must tell us as soon as possible by updating your payment details using this form.
Update my payment details