Free School Meals

Who can claim free school meals?

For a child to be eligible for free school meals, their parents, carers or on occasions the child themselves, need to receive at least one of the following support payments:

  • Income Support;
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - income-based;
  • Employment Support Allowance - income-based;
  • Child Tax Credit - but only when they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and where annual household income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190;
  • Pension Credit - guarantee element;
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Pupils who are over sixteen may receive Income Support and proof of this must be provided when claiming free school meals.

Who cannot claim free school meals?

  • Foster Carers;
    Pupils who are in foster care are not entitled to free school meals because foster parents are paid an allowance that covers the child's food costs;
  • Families with part-time pupils;
    Part-time pupils are not entitled to free school meals even if the family receives one of the support payments listed above. Children must receive education before and after lunch to be eligible.

Application Form