Free nursery/school meals and the footwear and clothing Grant are available for parents on low income in West Dunbartonshire.

The Benefits Section within West Dunbartonshire Council deal with the award of school clothing grants and free school meals, including nursery school meals.

NOTE: Clothing grants are not available for nursery children.

Children in Primary 1 - 5

Children in Primary 1-5 are automatically entitled to free school meals but applications must still be made for the School Clothing Grant.


You are eligible for free nursery/school meals and a school clothing grant if you receive the following benefits: 

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit with an annual earned income of £9712 (£809.33 per month)
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Working Tax Credit with income less than £11637
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
  • The subject of a kinship care order or a child falling within section 71(3)(f) of the Act (referred to here as a child having a parent appointed guardian)

You are eligible for a school clothing grant only if you receive:

  • Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
  • Working Tax Credit with a gross annual income of £16,860

You are eligible for free nursery/school meals only if you receive:

  • Child Tax Credit only (but not Working Tax Credit) with income less than £21,020

or young children

  • who are looked after by the authority concerned or any local authority

School Clothing Grants will not be paid for children of school leaving age, that is who will be 16 years old between 1 March and 30 September, until they return to school in the new session. However, you should include these children on your application.

The school clothing grant award amount is £150 per child for 2023/24. Please note that for the 2022/23 school year the clothing grant was £300 per eligible child which was paid out in 2 instalments of £150 each. Due to the clothing grant now being reduced to £150 for 2023/24 only one payment of £150 will be received for each eligible child


We will automatically consider you for free nursery/school meals and / or school clothing grant if you received one last year and you get Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. If you received a grant last year and you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction, we will require you to provide your new tax credit award letter to allow us make a decision. If you receive Universal Credit we will require screenshots of your Universal Credit Journal which must include details of any earnings that have been used to work out your Universal Credit entitlement.

Payment will be made by BACS (directly into your bank account). The first payments should be made in July and you should receive your payment within 2 weeks of your application being processed. If your child is of school leaving age, payment will be made when they return to school in the new session.

You will need to contact us if:

  • you have changed your bank account since your last award - please contact us on by email at to provide us with your new bank details.

You will need to complete a new application if:

  • you do not live within the West Dunbartonshire Council area as we will be unable to automatically confirm your entitlement
  • you have never applied before
  • you have another child starting school.

What we require

  • If you currently live within the West Dunbartonshire area and receive Housing and/or Council Tax Reduction, you do not have to provide us with any information. We have the information required and we will write to you when we have assessed your entitlement

  • If you do not live within the West Dunbartonshire area or do not receive Housing and/or Council Tax Reduction we will require proof that you meet the qualifying criteria listed above, i.e. Tax Credit award letter or screenshot of Universal Credit journal. This information can be emailed to

How to apply

Completed application forms and any proof should be emailed to  

Please ensure that your name and current address are provided on the email and also that it is clearly marked as evidence for your clothing grant and/or free school meals application.