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How to apply for free school meals

Parents/carers of children attending a school (not a college) in York can apply for free school meals and the Pupil Premium online or complete an Educational Benefits application form.

When we process your application, we'll:

  • use your details to check your child's eligibility for free school meals by checking information held by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education; this quick online check means we can often confirm eligibility immediately
  • write to you asking for proof of benefit if necessary - all proofs must be dated within the last 3 months (or for tax credits, the current financial year) and clearly state your entitlement to a qualifying benefit
  • not be able to return original proofs to you, so you should only send copies
  • process your application within 10 working days of receiving it
  • write to you to informing you of the outcome
  • inform your child's school of their eligibility

How we use your data

We'll use and process the information you provide for the purposes of your application, but also to support your child's teaching and learning through the Pupil Premium.

Free school meal claims

We treat all claims in confidence, and schools provide the same meals whether they're paid for or provided free.

Your child doesn't have to take up a meal every day - you can still provide a 'pack up' as and when you want to.

We'll also transfer your child's entitlement when they move from primary to secondary school, so you won't need to take any further action.

When to apply for school meals

You can apply at any time for school meals and you're encouraged to apply in reception. You don't need to check your eligibility because we'll check your eligibility when you submit your application.

Free school meal automatic enrolment project

Read more about the Free School Meals Auto Enrolment Project.

Also see

Free school meals appeal

Get details of York Hungry Minds appeal, raising funds to provide universal free school meals for children in York’s primary schools, helping all children to have the same opportunities to learn and thrive, no matter the circumstances where they grow up.

York Hungry Minds

Benefits appointments

Contact us for an appointment to get benefits advice in person at West Offices.

Make an appointment

Education Support Services

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551554

Apply for free school meals

Free school meals applications are submitted through the online Parent Portal.

Parent portal

Sign language interpreting service

If you use British Sign Language (BSL) you can access our BSL interpreting service when visiting West Offices, and when contacting us remotely.

BSL Interpreting Service