How to apply for free school meals

Parent/carers of children attending a school (not college) in York can apply for free school meals and the pupil premium online or by completing an Educational Benefits Form.

In processing your application we will:

  • use the information you have provided on the form to check your eligibility to free school meals by checking information held by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education - this quick online check may mean we can confirm your eligibility immediately
  • write to you to ask for proof of benefit if we need it. All proof must be dated within the last three 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 please only send copies
  • inform your child's school of their eligibillity
  • write to you to inform you that meals have been approved for your child(ren)
  • process your application as soon as possible, but always within 10 working days of receiving it


We review your eligibility to free school meals every half term. If you continue to receive income-related benefits, we should be able to confirm your eligibility on a rolling basis and you should never have to make a repeat application.

You may receive a letter from us asking for some proof of eligibility if we fail to renew them. This will be where we believe you have had a change in your circumstances. You will then have to provide proof within 2 weeks for your child's meals to continue without any interruption.

If your circumstances change, and you are no longer entitled to free school meals or a qualifying benefit, you must inform us immediately. If you fail to do so, you will have to pay back the cost of these meals.

Your data

When you apply (online or paper application) we'll use and process your information for the purposes of your application, but also for providing children's education and supporting your child's teaching and learning - find out how we process your data.

Additional information

All claims are treated in confidence, and the same meals are provided to all children whether they are paid for or provided free. Your child does not have to take up a meal every day, you can still provide a pack up as and when you want to.

When your child transfers from primary to secondary school, their entitlement will also be transferred and you need take no further action.

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