Support for families entitled to free school meals

Published: Thursday 3 December 2020

This photo shows one of the school meals available from South Lanarkshire Council, spaghetti bolognese

A range of financial support is to be made available for families who have children entitled to free school meals.

This does not include general P1-P3 meals, which all pupils in that bracket currently receive free.

Full details, including information on who is entitled to apply and a handy Q and A, is available from the council website.

Among the payments which can now be made are:

•    free school meals payment for pupils who are self-isolating
•    free school meals payment for pupils who are shielding during the current Level 4 lockdown
•    free school meals payment during school holidays
•    a one-off winter fuel payment

The council have approved a scheme to make a one-off payment of £30 to parents/carers towards the cost of lunch for pupils who are eligible for free school meals but can't attend school because they are self-isolating as part of the Test and Protect Scheme.

This began for any new cases of pupils self-isolating from Monday 23 November 2020 onwards. Payments will not be backdated.

In addition to this, any pupils eligible for free school meals and who received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising that they should not attend school and should shield for the 3-week period from Monday 23 November to Friday 11 December will receive a one-off free school meals payment of £45 if they do not attend school during this period.

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, John Ross, said: “We recognise the impact Covid has had on families across the area and are determined to do everything we can to help those most in need.

“I am particularly pleased with regards the self-isolation payments – this is something we are introducing as a council and will hopefully mean one less thing for those who are eligible to worry about.

“The other payments we are offering are thanks to money from the Scottish Government and I would like to thank them for their support which will ensure those most in need do not go hungry.”

The Scottish Government has given councils funding for pupils who get free school meals to receive a free school meal payment for school holidays.

The dates are as follows:
•    Christmas 2020 - one-off payment of £30 paid by Monday 22 December
•    February 2021 mid-term break - one-off payment of £9 be paid by Friday 5 February 
•    Spring break 2021 - one-off payment of £33 paid by Wednesday 31 March

There will also be Winter Fuel payments available, and anyone looking for more information on these payments should keep an eye on updates to the council website and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.