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Free School Meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals.

Criteria for free school meals:

  • Income support (IS)
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part V1 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 do not receive an annual gross income greater 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

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

How to apply for free school meals

If you think your child may be entitled to a free school meal or want to find out more about Free School Meals Eligibility, contact your school office or your Local Council Office.