Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants

    Applications

    Do I need to apply?

    This depends on a) if you received an award of Free School Meals and/or Clothing Grant for the previous school year, and b) if you are currently claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

    If both a) and b) above apply to you then you do not need to submit a new application form – your application will automatically be 'rolled forward' and assessed for the new school year using the information held on your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction claim. We will notify you directly if you fall into this group.

    However, if you wish to add a child to your claim for the new school year you should submit a new application form online and include the details of all the children you wish to apply for, not just the new child.

    If only one of a) or b) applies to you then you will need to submit an application form online to be considered for an award.

    If neither a) or b) apply to you then you will need to submit an application form online via our webpage to be considered for an award.


    What is the 'roll forward' process?

    If you qualified for an award of Free School Meals and/or Clothing Grant in the previous school year, and are currently claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction we will 'roll forward' your claim.

    This means that we will automatically assess your entitlement to Free School Meals and Clothing Grant without the need to submit a new application form.

    If you are claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction with Falkirk Council, we will use the information we already hold to make a decision on your entitlement to Free Schools and Meals and Clothing Grants.

    However, if you wish to add a child to your claim for the new school year you should submit a new application form online and include the details of all the children you wish to apply for, not just the new child.

    If you are unsure, don’t worry, we’ll contact you to let you know if there’s anything we need from you. Keep an eye out for our emails/letters. 


    Do I need to advise of a new child starting school?

    If you have received an award in the previous year and wish to add a new child to your claim you should submit a new application form online.

    You should list all of your children on the application form, not just the new child.


    How do I apply?

    You need to apply online - using the application form below:


    Do I need to provide additional evidence?

    If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction you will not usually need to provide additional evidence - we should already have the information we need to carry out our assessment. 

    (Please be aware that Council Tax Reduction is a means-tested benefit and does not include Single Person Discount or any other discount for Council Tax purposes).

    If you are not currently claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction we will need you to provide evidence of your current income. This must be provided when submitting your online application form.


    What evidence should I provide?

    Please refer to the Additional information section where you can find examples of the evidence we usually require.

    The evidence we need will depend on whether you are claiming Universal Credit or Tax Credits.

    Universal Credit

    If you are currently claiming Universal Credit we will need your most recent Universal Credit Award Details. This can be provided in the form of a screenshot from your Universal Credit Online Journal which shows the full breakdown of your Universal Credit award, including any earned income for that period.

    Tax Credits

    If you are currently claiming Tax Credits we will need your most up to date Tax Credits Award letter (please provide all pages of your award letter). We are now able to accept all forms of Tax Credits Award Letters including Annual Review Letters and Provisional Award Letters. Alternatively, you can access your Tax Credits Award Details by signing up for an online personal tax account with HMRC. 


    How do I provide additional evidence?

    If additional evidence is required in order for us to carry out our assessment this must be uploaded with your online application form.

    In some cases we may need to request additional evidence after assessing your application form. If that is the case then all evidence can be provided digitally by using our online postbox.

    Alternatively, you can email the evidence to us directly to fsm@falkirk.gov.uk.


    Clothing Grant

    How much is the Clothing Grant award?

    The Clothing Grant award is £120.00 per child. Only one award can be paid for each child within each school year.


    How is Clothing Grant paid?

    For new applicants, Clothing Grants will be paid into your chosen bank account, or by cheque if requested.

    For 'roll forward' applicants, Clothing Grant awards will be automatically paid into the bank account most recently provided.

    If your bank details have recently changed, you should notify us of this as soon as possible by completing the Request to change your bank details for Clothing Grant payments form.


    How do I update my bank details?

    If you need to update your bank details, you should do so as soon as possible using the form below:

    Request to change your bank details for Clothing Grant payments


    When will I be paid?

    Payments will normally be made within 10 days of receiving your award notice.

    We aim to have all applications assessed and awards made before the school term begins in August where possible, or within 28 days of receiving all the information we need to make a decision.


    Free School Meals

    When will the Free School Meals be available?

    If you have been notified of entitlement to Free School Meals before the beginning of the school term in August, Free School Meals will be available from the first day of the school year and will remain available until the end of the school year.

    If Free School Meals are awarded later in the school year, the entitlement will begin the day after your award notice has been issued, and will remain available until the end of the school year.


    Can awards be backdated?

    Unfortunately, we are unable to backdate any entitlement to Free School Meals or reimburse any payments made before entitlement is granted.


    How will Free School Meals be provided?

    They way Free School Meals are provided may vary depending on the school your children attend. 

    Please contact your school if you require further information regarding this.


    Are school breakfasts also free?

    If you have been approved for Free School Meals your child may also be entitled to a free breakfast (Note – this does not automatically include all P1 to P3 pupils). 

    However, not all schools have breakfast clubs. See individual school pages to see if they have one.

    The School Breakfast Clubs page has more information.