You can apply directly to the local authority and do not always have to provide paper proof of benefit.
If you are eligible to claim free school meals your application will trigger extra 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.
Who is eligible
Children whose parents or carers receive any of the following, are eligible for free school meals:
- Universal Credit - as long as they have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit during the 4-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 to free school meals for this 4-week period only.
Children who receive these benefits in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
How to apply
You can apply for free school meals online.
If you cannot apply online
If you cannot apply online, you can:
- call customer services on 01344 352000
- download the application form below, fill it in and email it to email@example.com or to your child’s current school
DocumentFree school meals application form
No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the government has temporarily extended the free schools meals eligibility to include some children of groups who have NRPF.
If you believe you are part of this group, please download the form below. Complete and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or to your child's school.
Please note, depending on circumstances, additional documents may be required to process this application. You will be notified if this applies to you.
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Children in the following classes are all eligible to receive a free school meal:
- Year 1
- Year 2
Even if your child is in one of these classes and is automatically entitled to claim a free school meal, it is still important that you apply for free school meals. This will make sure the school receives the extra government funding to which they are entitled to.
We have 12 schools that use Caterlink. You can find menus and more information on the Caterlink website.
The schools that use Caterlink are:
- Crowthorne Primary
- Fox Hill Primary
- Great Hollands Primary
- Harmans Water Primary
- Holly Spring Primary
- Kennel Lane School
- Meadow Vale Primary
- New Scotland Hill Primary
- St Joseph’s Primary
- St Michael's (Sandhurst) Primary
- Warfield Primary
- Winkfield St Mary's Primary
From September 2021 school meals cost:
- £2.02 - primary school
- £2.60 - primary at Kennel Lane
- £2.70 - secondary at Kennel Lane
School meal prices are reviewed each year.
All other schools in Bracknell Forest use their own catering contractors and set their own meal prices. To find out about menus or other catering queries please ask your child's school.