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

Remember if a child is in Primary 1-3 they are automatically entitled to a free school meal, no application is necessary. However applications for assistance with school clothing grants must still be made.

  • From August 2021 all children in P4 will be automatically entitled to a free school meal
  • From January 2022 this will be extended to also include children in P5.


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 £8,500
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Working Tax Credit with income less than £10,000
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999

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

  • Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit
  • 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 £17,500.

or young children who are:

  • Looked after by the authority concerned or any local authority; or,
  • 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). 

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.

During the 2021/22 academic year the School Clothing Grant is

  • £150 per 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 for us to allow us make a decision.

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 01389 737000 or by email at to provide us with your new bank details.

You will need to complete a new application if:

  • you live out side 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 live outwith the West Dunbartonshire area or do not receive Housing and/or Council Tax Reduction we will require your Child Benefit award letter and the award letter showing proof of the relevant benefit/tax credit. This information can be posted to or handed in at any of the offices below.

How to apply

As Council buildings are closed due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), 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.