Free School Meals

Who can get free school meals

All pupils in reception, year one or year two in primary schools will be entitled to free school meals. 

For children in Nursery, year three and above they could get free school meals if you get:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA-IR)
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance (IB-JSA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run on'- the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Free school meals can save you hundreds of pounds a year.


Who can register for pupil premium

If you receive one of the above benefits that entitle your child to free school meals, you can also register your eligibility with the council so that the school can benefit from additional funding, called pupil premium

The pupil premium gives schools extra funding to raise the achievement of some pupils. This is measured by the number of children eligible for free school meals based on the above qualifying benefits. It is worth  £1320 per pupil for the school your child attends.

How to claim

In reception, year one or year two

If your child is starting reception, year one or year two in September 2017 you do not need to apply for free school meals.  Just contact your child's primary school to check what they need to do to get their free meals. Their free school meals will stop at the end of year two, unless you receive the above qualifying benefits. 

For year three and above and to register for pupil premium:

If you have not claimed for free school meals for your child before ring your local area office.

It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings.

You will need to provide your name, date of birth and national insurance number.  They will confirm whether you are entitled immediately over the telephone. 

What happens next

If you are eligible, we will let the school know that your child can have free school meals. 

Each school has its own arrangements for letting the dinner service staff know who will be getting free school meals. Contact your school if you have any questions.

Once your application has been granted for free school meals or pupil premium you never need to complete another application. We will check on a regular basis that your children are still entitled to the meals. We will let you know if you are no longer eligible. You should still contact the area office if you are no longer getting any benefits.