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Free school meals are available to children whose parents receive financial support.


Free school meals

Your child qualifies for free school meals as long as you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit. This is as long as you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual gross income isn't more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' payment (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

The school doesn't see any information about your income.

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.


Universal infant free school meals

All children can get free school meals if they are in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2


If you receive one of the qualifying benefits, you should complete a free school meal application too. This has no effect on your entitlement, but it could provide extra funding for the school. This funding is called Pupil Premium and it helps:

  • support more disadvantaged pupils of all abilities
  • to close the gap between these pupils and their peers

Depending on the school's policy, they can use the Pupil Premium to help with things like the cost of school uniform or school trips. Please check your school's website to find out more.


Apply for free school meals

This should only take a few minutes to complete.

You'll need your National Insurance number or National Asylum Seekers Service number which allow us to make automated checks to confirm your entitlement.

The school doesn't see any information about your income.

If you qualify for free school meals, we'll let you know straight away and send you a confirmation email shortly after.

To apply, complete a free school meals application.


The application is for the family so you should only need to do it once, regardless of how many children it's for. If one of your children has just started school and their siblings already get free school meals, you will need to reapply so that we can add them to the award.