MORE families across Inverclyde are to get free school meals and help with uniforms under a £200,000 council support package.

An extra 230 local families will now get free school meals and £145 per child towards uniforms, after Inverclyde Council raised the earnings cap for the important educational benefits.

People who earn £915 a month or less - after tax and national insurance have been taken off their wages - can now claim the benefits.

The move is part of a £211,000 initiative designed to support local families on low incomes.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of Inverclyde Council’s education committee, said: “Raising the earnings cap on free school meals and clothing grants will provide direct, practical help to hundreds more local children.

"But it is very important that people apply for this extra help.

“Before the end of term, every pupil was given an application form to take home.

"Children who are due to start primary school in August were also given forms.

“When the new term starts in August every child from P1 to P4 will now get a free school meal thanks to a new council initiative.

"But parents and carers with children in P1 to P4 need to remember to apply for the cash for school clothes and shoes separately.

"And people whose child is moving from P4 to P5 need to remember to apply for these benefits as well, because they won’t get free school meals automatically any more."

Councillor Clocherty says that the council is determined to tackle child poverty.

He said: “Tackling poverty is one of Inverclyde Council’s key goals.

"Making sure that children are properly fed, clothed and educated is absolutely fundamental to achieving this."

Application forms for the educational benefits can be downloaded from or collected from the child’s school and the Customer Service Centre at the Municipal Buildings in Greenock's Clyde Square.