Free School Meals & Clothing Grants

If you receive any of the following benefits, you can claim free school meals for your school-aged child:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income related)
  • Child Tax Credit (with an annual income less than £16,190)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit with net household income of less than £7,400 (£616.67 monthly)


If you are receiving Working Tax Credit, your child is not eligible for free school meals or a clothing grant.

You can learn more about free school meals on the Welsh Government website.

If you already get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction or have made an application for either, you do not need to complete a separate form to claim free school meals.

You will be notified in writing or by email of the outcome of your application.

If you are eligible for free school meals, your child’s school will be notified so that they can update their records.

Free school meals are awarded for each child separately and not for the household. You will therefore need to complete a new application form if you have another child starting school for the first time.

You do not need to re-apply if your child moves to another school in Blaenau Gwent. When we are advised by your child’s new school that they are a pupil there then we will amend our records and inform them of your eligibility.

Changes from 1st April 2019

Any pupil eligible for free school meals at the point an earned income threshold is introduced (1st April 2019) will have their eligibility protected. This will apply to all applicants until the end of the rollout of Universal Credit (currently scheduled for December 2023), regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Any pupil who becomes eligible under the amended criteria during the rollout of Universal Credit (from 1st April 2019 to December 2023) will also retain their eligibility until the end of Universal Credit rollout, regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Once the rollout of Universal Credit has completed, any transitionally protected child will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education, e.g. primary / secondary.

Free School Meals & Pupil Development Grant (Clothing Grant)

The Welsh Government funded Pupil Development Grant for 2020/21 is now available to help towards the costs of a child's school uniform and equipment for those on a low income. The cost can be used for:

  • School uniform
  • School sports kit
  • Uniform for wider activities (e.g. sports, scouts, cadets)
  • Equipment (e.g. school bags and stationery)
  • Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin (e.g. design and technology) 
  • Equipment for out of school hours trips (e.g. waterproofs for outdoor learning)

The grant of £125 is available to pupils who are eligible for free school meals (but not those who are transitionally protected) if they are:

  • Entering reception class or Year 3 of a Blaenau Gwent primary school
  • Entering Year 7 or Year 10 of a Blaenau Gwent secondary school
  • Aged 4, 7, 11 or 14 in special schools, special needs resource bases or pupil referral units in Blaenau Gwent

For Year 7 learners the grant is £200 (for the increased extra costs associated with starting secondary school).

All looked after children of compulsory school age, who are looked after by the Local Authority, are also eligible for the grant.

Eligible parents/guardians will be contacted automatically with details on how to apply. However, you can also apply now using the online clothing grant application form. All applications must be submitted by 31st January 2021.

The grant is paid by BACS transfer to your bank account.

If your child attends a school outside the Blaenau Gwent area, please apply to the authority that maintains the school.

Apply Now

You can email or telephone 01495 353398 for further information about this grant.

Contact Information

Name of Team:  Benefits
Benefits Email:
Telephone: 01495 353398
Address: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale  NP23 6XB