Is your child entitled to free school meals, school uniform or physical education clothing allowance?

More free school meals are available.
More free school meals are available.

More families can now apply for Free School Meals, School Uniform and Physical Education Clothing Allowance entitlements, for the school year starting September 2014, due to changes to the working tax credit criteria. If you have not yet applied, the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) would urge parents and guardians to apply now, to allow time for your application to be processed.

What’s new from September 2014?

Until now, Working Tax Credit criteria has been applicable to eligible pupils attending Nursery and Primary Schools and those of equivalent age in Special Schools. From September 2014, parents/guardians of eligible school/college aged pupils can now apply.

Who is entitled?

For the 2014-2015 academic year, Free School Meals, School Uniform and Physical Education Clothing Allowance can be awarded if you are currently in receipt of one of the following benefits:

• Income Support;

• Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance;

• Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance;

• The Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit;

• Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with an annual taxable income of £16,190 or less.


• if you are an Asylum Seeker supported by the Home Office National Asylum Support Service (NASS);

• if your child has a statement of special educational needs and is designated to require a special diet.

Please Note:

1. Pupils must be in full-time education at school/college.

2. The Clothing Scheme does not apply to pupils in attendance at Nursery School / Nursery Unit / Reception Class / Independent Schools or to pupils qualifying for Free School Meals under the ‘Special Diet’ criteria.

What could you save?

Many low income families are unaware of their entitlements or indeed the value of claiming these. If entitled, parents/guardians can save annually in excess of £400 per child for Free School Meals and in addition can claim, as applicable, an allowance from £22.00 to £78.00 per child towards the purchase of a school uniform and/or physical education clothing.

How do you apply?

• Only one application form is required to be completed which can be obtained by contacting the Western Education and Library Board’s Meals and Uniform Section on tel: 028 8241 1496 or by downloading the form from – click on Services or click on the quick link available on the homepage.

• Information and assistance is also available from Board staff by contacting the above number or by emailing your queries to or writing to the Meals and Uniform Section, WELB HQ, 1 Hospital Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT79 0AW.

Notes to Editor:

1. It is important that the information within this press release is published as stated, in particular the information under the headings ‘Who is entitled’ and ‘What’s new from September 2014’.

2. The eligibility criteria as stated above for Free School Meals also entitles parents/guardians to claim the school uniform and/or physical education clothing allowance with the exception of parents/guardians of pupils in attendance at Nursery Schools/Nursery Units/Reception Classes/Independent Schools and those pupils qualifying under the Special Diet Criteria, as stated in this press release.