School and education grants

The information on this page deals with school and education-related grants and funding that may be available to parents and students. This includes:

Free school meals

Free school meals are available to all full-time pupils (including full-day nursery children and sixth form students) who are still at school and who correspond to the qualifying criteria.

School travel grants

In order to assist pupils who have difficult circumstances or face high costs getting to and from schools, the council offers home to school travel grants.

Travel grants are available for two age groups, students aged 5-16 years and students aged 16-19.

School travel grants for children with learning difficulties or disabilities (LDD) are available separately. This includes children with special educational needs (SEN) and very young children with possible SEN.

Student finance

Student Finance England (SFE) deals with all higher education student finance. The main student finance package includes a:

  • Tuition Fee Loan
  • Maintenance Loan for living costs (eg accommodation, food, books)
  • Maintenance Grant for living costs

There is extra funding for medical student, social work student, teacher training students, students in special circumstances, eg if you have children or are disabled

Education Maintenance Allowance

You can apply for Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) if you're studying in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. Students in England may be able to get a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

16-19 Bursary Fund (not university)

If you're 16 to 19, you might be able to get £1,200 from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund to help with your studying or training. You can't apply if you're studying at university.

If you're in one of the groups below, you could get a bursary of £1,200:

  • people in care or care leavers
  • people claiming Income Support
  • disabled people getting Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

If you aren't in one of these groups, you could still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances.

Parents' learning allowance

If you're a full-time student with children you could get up to £1,508 a year to help with your learning costs on top of the standard student finance package. This is called Parents' Learning Allowance. How much you get depends on your household income.

Parents' Learning Allowance can help with the costs of: books,  study materials, travel. It doesn't have to be paid back and won't affect your benefits or tax credits.

You can apply for the Parents' Learning Allowance when you apply for student finance.

Care to Learn (C2L)

If you are a student parent and under 20 years of age at the start of your course, Care to Learn can assist you with the costs of registered childcare, and travelling expenses to and from the childcare provider.

Read more about the Care to Learn scheme.

School clothing grants

We do not currently provide clothing grants or clothing vouchers for school uniforms.

You should check with your child's school and find out if they have any schemes to help with these costs.