Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • 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 - provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

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

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

Schools do not see any specific information about your income or the benefits you receive.

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Before you start

Before you start you:

  • will need your National Insurance number or Asylum Seekers Service number
  • may also need to upload your benefit documents to prove your entitlement

If a younger child starts school, and one or more of your children already receive free school meals, you'll need to apply again, adding just the new child's details.

We'll let you know straight away if you qualify for free school meals. We'll send you a confirmation email shortly after.

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2025.

Universal Infant free school meals in England

All children get free school meals if they’re in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

If your child gets universal infant free school meals and you get any of the qualifying benefits apply for pupil premium. Your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.

To cancel free school meals, contact your child's school.

Holiday activities and food

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they can also join our free holiday activities. The activities run during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. They will also get a free midday meal whilst at the club.

Sign-up to get your passcode and news about upcoming events and activities.

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