EMA, Bursaries and Financial Support

Clothing Grants, Free School Meals and Free School Milk

A Clothing Grant is a grant awarded to children from families on a low income to help towards the cost of clothing and footwear.

A free School Meal is a school lunch provided free of charge by Shetland Islands Council to children from families on a low income.

All pupils in Primary 1 to Primary 3 are now eligible for free School meals, however these pupils should still be included on your application form if you wish to apply for Free School Milk and / or a Clothing Grant.

Children attending Early Learning and Childcare Settings as part of the expanded provision are also eligible for Free School Meals and families should apply as detailed below.

Application Form for Clothing Grant and or Free School Meals

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the school clothing grant?

The grant is £100 per pupil.  Payments are made by BACS to your nominated bank account, or by cheque, where necessary.

Am I eligible for a Clothing Grant and/or Free School Meals/Milk?

Free School Meals are linked to the level of income/benefit a family receives and will be provided if a family is in the receipt of:-

  • Income support*
  • Income based Job Seeker's Allowance*
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance*
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an income of less than £16,105*
  • Universal Credit with a household take home pay of less than £610 per month*
  • Parents/Carers receive help under Part VI of Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • In care of the Local Authority.
  • Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with an income less than £7,330.

* Pupils are eligible for Free School Meals in their own right if they are aged 16-18 and fall into this category.

In addition to the above criteria, if you have a child attending an early learning and Childcare setting, the following criteria also apply:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit

If you do not fall into any of the above criteria but feel you would benefit from Free School Meals due to exceptional circumstances or because you are facing financial hardship, please call us on 01595 743848.

Clothing Grants are also linked to the level of income/benefit a family receives and will be provided if a family is in receipt of any of the above benefits or:

  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit with an income greater than £7,330 but less than £16,105
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction (please note this does not include the Single Person Discount)

It is your right to make an application if you meet any of the criteria.

When should I apply for a Clothing Grant/Free School Meals?

  • Applications should be submitted by 31st July to ensure the continuation of Free School Meals after the summer holidays.
  • Applications received after 31st October will not be backdated, and will only be effective from the date the application is received by Children's Services.
  • No applications will be accepted after 31st March.

How old does my child have to be?

The Clothing Grant is available to children attending an early learning and childcare setting, including funded two year olds, and children attending school up to their official leaving date. Free School Meals are available to Early Years, Primary and Secondary pupils. All pupils in Primary 1 to Primary 3 are now eligible for free School meals, however these pupils should still be included on your application form if you wish to apply for Free School Milk and / or a Clothing Grant.

Can my child still apply for a clothing grant if they are over the compulsory school age?

No, but they may be eligible to apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

What information do I need for my application?

When you complete and submit your application form you will have to provide some documentary evidence.  This could be:

  • Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) TC602 2020/21 from HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Your most recent Universal Credit Statement.
  • A recent letter from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) confirming the type of benefit and current eligibility.
  • If you receive Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, your letter must state the words Income-based.
  • Confirmation of your current support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS).
  • A bank statement showing the Child Benefit payment going into your bank account, less than three months old.

You can upload the documentary evidence on your application form, or you can submit these by email to childrensservices-finance@shetland.gov.uk.  Pictures taken on your mobile phone and then uploaded to the applicaiton form or emailed acre acceptable but please ensure the picture is clear and readable.  However, we reserve the right to the see the original document if necessary, on request.

When will I hear if I have been awarded a grant?

The Children’s Services office should contact you within 21 working days.

Payment of Clothing Grants will be made July 2020. In the case of Free School Meals, the school will be notified that your child is entitled to meals once the application has been approved.

Education Finance

If you have a query about entitlement you can contact the Children’s Services Department

01595 743844