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If your child is registered at a maintained school, your local
education authority must provide a free midday meal if you claim
certain benefits. These include Income Support, income-based Job
Seekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
Pension Credit (guarantee credit) and child tax credit (and you are
not eligible for working tax credit) with a taxable income below
£16,190 (£16,105 in Scotland).
In Scotland and Northern Ireland you also qualify if you get
working tax credit - but only so long as your taxable income is
less than £6,420 in Scotland or £16,190 in Northern Ireland.
If you get Universal Credit, your entitlement to free school
meals will depend on your earnings and where in the UK you live. If
you are part of a couple then joint earnings are counted.
Even if you do not receive any of the benefits mentioned above,
you are still entitled to free school meals for any child who:
Contact your local authority for more information about free
Local authorities have discretion to help with the cost of
school clothing for pupils in maintained schools. The rules vary
from area to area so you'll need to ask for education authority
about the help available in your area.
In Wales, a grant for uniforms is available to
pupils who are eligible for free school meals or who are looked
after by their local authority and who are either:
Local authorities may provide transport or help with the costs
for eligible children and young people. Find out more about school
Education authorities have discretion to pay some or all of the
fares of parents visiting children at a special school a long way
A weekly payment for 16-18 year olds (and some 19 year olds) who
stay on at school/college or who undertake certain types of unwaged
The amount awarded depends on parental income.
There are two types of bursary. The first is a discretionary
bursary for which any young person can apply. However, whether you
receive a payment is at the discretion of your school or
There is also a vulnerable student bursary of £1,200 per year
for certain groups, including disabled students who receive
Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment and
who also get either Universal Credit or Employment and Support
Allowance. This may be paid in kind rather than in cash.