Free School Meals and help to buy uniform

Families on low incomes across the city are being encouraged to check if they are eligible to claim Free School Meals for their children.

With many families facing difficulties and money worries due to the continued impact of the pandemic on people’s employment and incomes, Cardiff Council is keen to ensure that everyone who is entitled to receive support does get the help they need.

As well as Free School Meals, extra help is now also available for families to buy school uniform with the Pupil Development Grant being extended to include more year groups than ever before.

Families with children in Reception, Year 1, Year 3, Year 5, Years 7 to 11 can apply for funding to help buy the kit they need for school. Families can claim £125 per child and £200 if in Year 7.

The extension to include more year groups is for this academic year only and parents have until June 30th2021 to apply. Only one grant per child per year is allowed so families who have already received funding for this school year will not be able to claim again.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said:

“Many families across the city will have seen their income drop considerably over the past year and others will be experiencing considerable hardship. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals and we want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to claim does so.

“Children grow so quickly and have growth spurts so as we approach the summer, some families’ supplies of uniform may need replenishing but they’re concerned about how they can afford the extra expense, so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of the extension of the grant to more children.

“As with Free School Meals, applying is quick and easy – you can do it online, phone the Adviceline or get some help in a hub by booking an appointment with a member of our team. But the clock is ticking, so please apply in good time before June 30.”

To be eligible for Free School Meals and help to buy uniform, the parent/guardian making the application must be receiving one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit, with a household income of £16,190 or less
  • Pension Credit (guarantee element)
  • Universal Creditwith net household earnings of less than £7,400

Working Tax Credit isnota qualifying benefit.

Cllr Thorne added:

“Help is available so please apply. We know that many families will have never needed to apply for free school meals or for help to buy uniform before but these are exceptional circumstances and we are waiting to support Cardiff families who need our help.”

For more information on Free School Meals and the Pupil Development Grant and to apply visit www.cardiff.gov.uk/freeschoolmealsorwww.cardiff.gov.uk/pupildevelopmentgrant

If you would prefer to complete a paper application or need help to complete the application, please call ​​​​029 2087 1071.