Grants and allowances

Young boy having school dinners

You may be eligible for financial support to help with the costs of education and childcare.

Further information

Free nursery education

All three and four year olds are entitled to access up to 15 hours of free early education each week for a maximum of 38 weeks a year. 

Some two year olds are also entitled to free early education, this is dependent on meeting a set criteria.

For more information visit our Family Information Directory.

Free school meals

All children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes are entitled to free school meals. Your children may be eligible for free school meals beyond year 1 and 2 if you receive:

  • income support 
  • income-based jobseekers allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • national asylum seeker support
  • child tax credit (providing you’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • the guaranteed element of state pension credit
  • working tax credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit.  

Applying could also help your school get extra funding through the Government’s Pupil Premium scheme.

Apply online now or contact us using the information below. 

Free school milk

Nursery and children under five automatically receive free milk. Children in primary schools who receive free school meals may also receive free milk.

Other over five year olds may receive milk at a cost of around 17p per bottle. The ordering, issuing and collecting of money is carried out by individual schools. Not all schools offer a paid milk service and they have no duty to offer a scheme.

Please contact your school for further details.

Musical instruments assisted purchase scheme

We run a VAT free scheme to help students buy musical instruments at reduced cost. Please note that VAT cannot be reclaimed on instruments purchased by parents/carers directly from retailers.

Download an application form or call 0116 270 0850.

Higher education

Student Finance England administers applications from students seeking financial support for attendance on higher education courses. It is responsible for assessing their eligibility for and entitlement to financial support.

For information go to the Government’s education and learning website.

Discretionary learner support

If you’re in further education and aged 19 or over you could be eligible for discretionary learner support (DLS). Funding is available to those who need it to pay for essentials like accommodation, travel, course materials and childcare.

To find out more visit GOV.UK.

Free school transport

We ensure that every child in the city has access to a school place; for some children that means providing free home to school transport. Home to school transport is provided free of charge for children if the school attended is the nearest one with a place available and the walking distance from home to the school boundary is more than three miles for pupils aged over eight, or two miles for pupils under eight, at the start of the academic year.

See what help you could get.

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