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Grants for pupils

Free school meals

Children and young people attending school full time may be entitled to receive free school meals.

Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits or support payments:

  • income support
  • income based jobseekers allowance
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • child tax credit with no working tax credit and an annual income of less than £16,190
  • guarantee element of state pension credit
  • working tax credit 'run-on'. This is the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for working tax credit
  • universal credit

If you are applying for the first time, you can make your application at any time during the school year.

If you have a child already receiving free school meals, you will still need to complete an application for any other children that start school. Siblings do not automatically receive free school meals.

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child might also get free school meals if you receive any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • younger than the compulsory age for starting school
  • in full-time education

Application forms are available from the financial assessments and benefits team or each school.

School Uniform Grant

This grant is to help families buy school uniform for their children who are starting secondary school. It is for families who are eligible for free school meals, and who live in Wales.

It may also be available for pupils attending a special school, special needs resource base and pupil referral units in Wales who will be aged 11 at the start of the academic school year and who are eligible for free school meals.

If you are eligible, you will receive £105.00 for each pupil entering Year 7 of secondary school. You may be eligible if you receive certain benefits. For a list of these, see free school meals above.

Distinctive school clothing grant
This is different to the school uniform grant because it is discretionary which means each secondary school decides how much to offer.

It is for pupils attending secondary school, aged 7-11, and has similar eligibility criteria to free school meals. It is intended to go towards the cost of distinctive school clothing, such as blazers or ties.

Application forms are available in the spring term from either the school or the financial assessments and benefits team. You can find contact details at the bottom of this page. Please return your form before the last week of the spring term to prevent delays in receiving your grant.

This grant is not available for pupils attending infant, junior or primary schools.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Education Maintenance Allowance is payable to pupils and students in full time education after the age of 16. It is based on household income.

The scheme is not run by us. To find out more, either contact your school or Student Finance Wales.


Financial assessments and benefits team

Bridgend County Borough Council
Telephone: 01656 643 396

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