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Free School Meals

Free school meals and milk in schools in West Lothian.

Academic Year 2017/2018

Application forms pdf icon School Clothing Grant, Free School Meals and Milk Application Form 2017/2018 [188kb]for the 2017/2018 academic year will be available from the middle of June 2017 and will appear under the related documents section of this page around that time. Every child will receive an application home in their school bag around the middle of June, and parents/carers will receive a Group Call text message alerting them to this fact in due course.  Please ensure that your child's school has your most up to date mobile number.

How do I apply?

An application can be downloaded.  Alternatively, one can be obtained from schools or from Council Information Services, Libraries, Jobcentres, Advice Shop (Bathgate) or at the Civic Centre.  All P1-P3 pupils are entitled to free school meals.  Pupils from P4 upwards may also be eligible for free school meals if their parents are in receipt of a qualifying benefit as detailed below.  P1-P7 pupils whose parents meet the criteria below are also entitled to free school milk.

When can I apply?

Application forms can be accepted from the middle of June each year.  There is no cut-off date for applying, we can accept applications up to the last school day of the academic year, but please be aware that entitlement cannot be backdated.

How long will my application take to process?

We will aim to process an application within 10 working days from receipt, and provided you receive a qualifying benefit as detailed below, you will be notified, and the school your child/children attend with be notified automatically. Pupils can receive Free School Meals from P1 to S6, but a fresh application must be submitted each academic year.

Who qualifies?

Pupils with parents in receipt of any of the following are entitled to free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Any Income Related element of Employment & Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (with no working tax credit) and whose annual income is £16,105 or less
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit whose annual income is £6,420 or less
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610

If you are applying using Tax Credits as your qualifying benefit, then you must be able to provide a Tax Credit Award Notice detailing payment starting on 06 April 2017.  A Tax Credit Annual Review can also be accepted, however on page 1 it must read "If you do not have anything to tell us you need do nothing more...".

If applying using a Jobcentre benefit as described above, then you must provide a benefit letter dated within 3 months of application, or have the form stamped at Jobcentre Plus.

Automatic Entitlement for pupils at Special Schools

Free school meals are also provided, regardless of the above entitlement, to all pupils at Beatlie, Burnhouse, Cedarbank, Ogilvie School Campus and Pinewood Schools. No application form is necessary.

Entitlement to Free School Meals at some of our Nursery Schools/Classes

From 19 August 2015 pupils attending for the whole day at Bonnytoun Nursery School, Glenvue Nursery School, Linlithgow Primary School Nursery Class, and Knightsridge Early Years Centre may be eligible for Free School Meals (provided as a packed lunch) if their parent/guardian is in receipt of a qualifying benefit as detailed above.

From 23 August 2016 pupils attending for the whole day at Bathgate West Nursery, East Calder Nursery Class, Southdale Nursery Class, St Nicholas Nursery Class, Whitdale Early Years Centre may be eligible for Free School Meals (provided as a packed lunch) if their parent/guardian is in receipt of a qualifying benefit as detailed above.

Free School Milk

All pupils of nursery schools and classes, and all pupils at Beatlie, Burnhouse, Cedarbank, Ogilvie School Campus and Pinewood Schools where consumption of the milk is part of the educational programme as agreed with Psychological Services, are entitled to 200ml of milk daily free of charge.

P1-7 pupils whose parents are in receipt of a qualifying benefit must apply for milk using the application form, even if you do not wish to take meals.

Anyone not entitled to Free School Milk, can purchase milk for their child or children through the school who will charge 18p per 200ml.

I want to apply for free school meals for more than one child. Do I need to complete an application form for each child?

No, there is space to apply for free school meals for up to six children on the application form.

The secondary school that my child/children attend operates a swipe card system. How do they get their free meal?

Your child's card will be credited with the cost of a free meal per day. This is put on their card after the morning break and any remaining credit does not carry forward each day.