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Free School Meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • younger than the compulsory age for starting school
  • in full-time education

You can apply for free school meals and check your child eligibility online

Infant free school meals in England

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

You do not need to apply online to get free school meals if your child is in these years as this is automatically applied. 

We encourage parents to tell us if you also get any of the qualifying benefits, even if you don't want to claim free school meals as your child’s school can get extra funding if you do. This information is confidential. 

Children who are entitled to benefit-related free school meals may also get additional help through Pupil Premium including reduced cost for school trips. Please speak to a member of staff for more information.