Could my child be entitled to free school meals?
You can now apply directly to the local authority and do not always have to provide paper proof of benefit.
It's not just a free school meal
If you are eligible to claim free school meals your application will trigger additional government funding for your child’s school.
This funding will be invested in your child at school. Some schools offer help with uniforms or discounted school trips for those children eligible for a free school meal. This will in turn save you more money on top of the price of your child’s meal.
Please ask your child’s school how they use this funding.
Children whose parents receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals:
- income support (IS)
- income based job seeker’s allowance (IBJSA)
- income related employment and support allowance
- support under part VI of the immigration and asylum act 1999
- the guaranteed element of state pension credit
- child tax credit (provided you're not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- universal credit
If you are entitled to working tax credit during the four week period immediately after your employment stops, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your child would also be eligible for free school meals for this four week period only.
Children who receive IS or IBJSA in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
Universal infant free school meals
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible to receive a free school meal.
All children who are, or whose parents are, claiming one of the above eligibility criteria will trigger additional government funding for the school they attend. This funding will be invested in your child at school. Some schools offer help with uniforms or discounted school trips for those children triggering the extra funding.
Therefore even if your child is attending Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and is automatically entitled to claim a free school meal, it is important that parents still apply for the pupil premium funding. This will ensure the school receives the funding to which they are entitled to.