Free school meals and extra support for your child
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Free school meals and extra support for your child

If you get certain welfare benefits, you can apply for free school meals for your child.

Who can get free school meals?

Your child can get free school meals if you receive one of the following benefits:

  • Income-based: income support or jobseeker’s allowance (not eligible if on contribution based jobseeker’s allowance)
  • Income-related: employment support allowance (not eligible if on contribution based employment support allowance)
  • Universal credit
  • Income support
  • the guaranteed element of state pension credit
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • child tax credit only 

And if the combined annual household income as assessed by HMRC is below £16,190. Please note if your income is below £16,190 and you are not on any benefits your family will not be eligible.

If you receive working tax credit regardless of your annual household income your family will not be eligible for free school meals.

Please note in cases where one partner/spouse in the household is on benefits and the other is on annual income as assessed by HMRC above £16,190 your family will not be eligible for free school meals.

You could save up to £400 a year if your child gets free school meals and it will mean they get a healthy school lunch every day. Since September 2014, all children in reception, year one and year two are also entitled to free school meals.

How do I start getting free school meals?

You can apply online for free school meals.

You do not need to reapply each year but if your child changes school, you will need to tell us.

Will my child get any other support?

Yes. Free school meals are part of something called ‘pupil premium’. As well as providing free school meals, pupil premium provides extra funding of up to £1,350 to your child's school. The school can then use this funding to support your child’s education through extra tuition, teaching staff or after-school activities.