Free school meals

Help your school and yourself - claim free school meals

Taking up free school meals has benefits for everyone:

  • children get a healthy nutritious meal
  • schools can benefit directly by receiving additional funding called Pupil Premium. This is additional funding given to schools which can be spent on a range of interventions to help raise the attainment of pupils. Current pupil premium funding is £1320 for each eligible primary school child and £935 for each eligible secondary school child
  • families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year.

Even if you don't want to take up the offer of free school meals but you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, we would strongly encourage you to apply. That way your school can benefit from the extra funding eligibility attracts.

Who qualifies for free school meals

Free school meals are offered to children of families who receive:

  • Income support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Employment & Support Allowance (Income Related) (ESA(IR))
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (TC602) - if you have a yearly income of less than £16,190 and do not get working tax credit
  • Guaranteed Element of Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

Please note, if you receive working tax credit, you will not be eligible for free school meals.  The only exception to this is if you are in receipt of the four week Working Tax Credit run-on after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

How to apply for free school meals?

If you think you qualify for free school meals then you can apply through our online free school meals form. We will then inform you if your application is successful or not.

If you do not have an email address then you can get a 'free school meals' application form from your child’s/children’s school. The school/s will then inform you if your application is successful or not.

Not claiming benefits, but have a child in reception, Year 1 and Year 2?

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 receive free school meals under the government's Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme. However, we strongly encourage parents who believe they also meet the benefit related free school meals criteria to complete a free school meals application.

If you meet the benefit related criteria, your school will also benefit from additional funding known as Pupil Premium.

You can apply online or pick up an application form from your child’s school.