Parents in Scotland urged to apply for School Age Payment

Marketing campaign highlights last chance for parents to apply.

Eligible families are being encouraged to apply for the School Age Payment before applications close on 29 February.

The one-off £250 Payment is currently open for families with a child born between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015. It can be used for anything from educational toys to travel, or after school activities.

Parents who have deferred their child’s entry to school from August 2019 to August 2020, or those home schooling, should still apply before the closing date on 29 February. If an application is made after this time it will be too late.

The payment is part of the Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families in receipt of eligible benefits – including Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and tax credits – to help at key stages in a child’s life.

Social Security Secretary, Shirley Anne Somerville said:

“We’ve had great take up for the School Age Payment since it launched last June with almost 20,000 applications in the three months between June and September. We want to reach as many people as possible so are using this campaign to raise further awareness of the School Age Payment to encourage eligible families who have not applied, to get their applications in before the end of this month.

“Covering the costs of a child starting school can put pressure on family finances. The School Age Payment is there for those who need financial support at this key milestone in their child’s life.

“Making sure that everyone gets the financial support they are entitled to  is a clear example of how we are doing things differently putting dignity, fairness and respect at the heart of our new service.”

Lori Dobie, from Fife applied for the school Age Payment when her daughter started school, she said:

“The application only took five to ten minutes, it was pretty straightforward.  I was quite relieved when I found out I was getting the money. It takes the pressure off being a single parent and trying to run a household and get your child ready for school.

“Having the extra money towards her stuff for school was a massive help.”


Visit or call 0800 182 2222 to find out more or apply.


  • applications for this year will close on 29 February 2020
  • eligible families can apply for a payment if their child was born between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015
  • there is no requirement to take up a place at school to be eligible for the payment
  • parents who have deferred school entry so their children will start school in August 2020 should still apply in the 3 June to 29 February 2020 window
  • To be eligible you have to live in Scotland and be receiving certain benefits or tax credits. To find out more, including the eligibility criteria visit

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