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Grants and allowances

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

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. This offer can be extended to 30 hours for eligible working parents.

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 website.

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 20p 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 - hire and assisted purchase schemes

VAT purchase scheme

The aim of the VAT purchase scheme is to enable parents living in Leicester City to purchase musical instruments that are essential to the furtherance of their child's musical studies at a reduced price. This can be achieved by a concession, which enables the local authority to recover the VAT on such instruments and to sell the instrument free of VAT to the pupil.

Take it away purchase scheme

Take it away aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000.

Instrument hire

If you are looking to hire a musical instrument you can contact the Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub.

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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