Please note that entitlement to Universal Primary Free School Meals does not mean entitlement to the School Essentials Grant – please see below in bold.

The School Essentials Grant is available to children and young people eligible for free school meals (eFSM), Looked After Children (LAC), and those who are classed as No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) in year groups Reception to Year 11. Please see the FSM page for details of the qualifying criteria, link seen at the bottom of this page.

Funding of £125 is available for each eligible learner with the exception of those in Year 7 who will be entitled to £200 (to reflect the increased cost of starting secondary school).

The Purpose of the Scheme is to provide grant assistance to families on lower incomes for the purchase of provisions such as:

  • School uniform including coats and shoes;
  • School sports kit including footwear;
  • IT Equipment: laptop and tablets ONLY (School Essentials should only be used in limited situations where a school is unable to loan equipment to the family)
  • Uniform for enrichment activities, including but not limited to: scouts; guides; cadets; martial arts; sports; performing arts, or dance;
  • Equipment – e.g. school bags and stationery;
  • Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology; and,
  • Equipment for out-of-school hours’ trips such as outdoor learning – e.g. waterproofs.

The scheme for the 2023/24 academic year will begin on 1 July 2023 and end on 31 May 2024. Ceredigion County Council will endeavour to process all current claimants automatically over the summer, ready for September.

Families who are eligible for free school meals can submit a claim if they have a child in full-time education, from Reception to Year 11.

All looked after children qualify for the grant, whether they receive free school meals or not.

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

All full-time pupils attending primary sector education in Ceredigion will be automatically entitled to Universal Primary Free School Meals (UPFSM) in September 2024.

Please note that if your child/ren are in these specific years, you will not automatically be entitled to the School Essentials Grant. Therefore, if you wish to receive this specific grant, you will still need to complete a Free School Meals Application Form.

If you are not currently in receipt of Free School Meals then please complete a Free School Meals application form and your School Essentials Grant will be considered at the same time.