Free school meals.

Current eligibility criteria for free school meals, including universal free school meals for key stage 1.

Did you know that your child could qualify for free school meals? That means no bills but delicious, healthy meals for your children.

School meals will give your child a real appetite for learning and help them to achieve their full potential. There is nothing healthier for your child and your family’s budget than free school meals. As someone else is preparing the meals for your child, it saves you having to worry about the effort and expense of making packed lunches every day.

Your child may be entitled to receive free school meals if you are entitled to receive one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190

Parents receiving Working Tax Credit for four weeks after their employment finishes are entitled to free school meals during that period. This also applies to parents who start working less than 16 hours per week.

Children who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance in their own right qualify as well. All pupils who do not qualify for free school lunches must be charged the same amount for the same quantity of the same item.

Free school meals have changed
We’re working with schools to make it impossible for children to know who receives free school meals and who doesn’t. Many schools collect dinner money in private at the school office, and some schools give children electronic payment cards so that no-one carries cash. Ask your school what they are doing to make sure your child doesn’t feel any embarrassment about receiving their free meal.

School meals have improved over the past five years and are the best way to make sure your child is getting all the nutrients they need to be able to learn.

Sign up for free school meals and your child could be enjoying a wide variety of tasty and nutritious food, for example:

  • Lamb casserole with lentils and herbs
  • Moroccan chicken with apricot
  • Pasta in tomato and cheese bake
  • Cheese and tomato pizza with mixed peppers
  • Fish fiesta in a bun with salad
  • Jacket potato with baked beans
  • Salad bar
  • Chocolate treacle sponge with custard
  • Fresh fruit and a cookie
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Strawberry milkshake

How to apply
Just click on the link at the bottom of the page to download the form to complete.