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Apply for Free School Meals/PDG Access (clothing grant).

Use this service to apply for Free School Meals/PDG Access (clothing grant). 

If you live in Merthyr Tydfil and receive any of the following, you can claim free school meals for your school-aged child:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and your annual income does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by Tax Credits)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (not in work)
  • Universal Credit (in work) where your award is based on annual earnings from your employment or self-employment and have been determined as less than £7,400.

Young people who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

You can learn more about free school meals on the Welsh Assembly website.

You will be notified in writing or by email of the outcome of your application.

If you are eligible for free school meals, your child’s school will be notified so that they can update their records.

Free school meals are awarded for each child separately and not for the household. You will therefore need to complete a new application form if you have another child starting school for the first time.

You do not need to re-apply if your child moves to another school in the borough. When we are advised by your child’s new school that they are a pupil there then we will amend our records and inform them of your eligibility.

Changes from 1st April 2019

Any pupil eligible for free school meals at the point an earned income threshold is introduced (1st April 2019) will have their eligibility protected. This will apply to all applicants until the end of the roll-out of Universal Credit (currently scheduled for December 2023), regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Any pupil who becomes eligible under the amended criteria during the roll-out of Universal Credit (from 1st April 2019 to December 2023) will also retain their eligibility until the end of Universal Credit roll-out, regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Once the roll-out of Universal Credit is complete, any transitionally protected child will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education, e.g. primary / secondary.

Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant – Access 2022/23 (01.07.22-30.06.23)

The Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant helps eligible pupils acquire School uniform, equipment, sports kit, and kit for activities outside of school for your child. The scheme is targeted specifically at pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals (not transitionally protected).

New school years are now eligible, and criteria has been extended to include laptops or tablets.

Learners eligible for free school meals can apply for this grant if they are:

  • in reception class at primary school
  • in school years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
  • in a special school, special needs resource base or pupil referral unit and are aged 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15

For Year 7 learners the grant is £300, recognising the increased costs associated with starting secondary school. For all other year groups, the grant is £225.00.

Funding for looked-after children is available in every school year.

The local authority will assess which pupils are entitled to this grant based on free school meal entitlement. All eligible pupils will then be provided with an application form via their current school. Direct bank payments will be made to applicants on receipt of the completed application form.

Families are only entitled to claim once per child, per school year.

If you have any queries regarding this grant you can email

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