You may be entitled to apply for free school meals for your children if you receive one of the following income-related benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit combined with both a household income below £16,190 per annum and not in receipt of any Working Tax Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee Element of state Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit, with annual household earnings of less than £7,400

You may also qualify if:

  • you've just started working less than 16 hours a week, or
  • your employment has stopped for a temporary 4-week 'run-on' period

Apply online for free school meals

Note: You're not entitled to apply for free school meals if you receive contributions-based benefits, including contribution-related Job Seekers' Allowance.

The Pupil Premium

If you feel you may meet the low income criteria (as above), you should still apply for free school meals, as schools will benefit from additional funding known as the Pupil Premium.

Universal Infant free school meals

All children are automatically eligible to receive free school meals in:

  • Reception
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Also see

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