School meals

Information and guidance on entitlement and criteria

Children whose parents receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals:

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

Apply for free school meals

Please do not apply if the following applies:

  • If you receive Universal Credit and earn more than £616.66 per month (gross). The income assessment takes your last three months of earnings into consideration when making the decision. If you drop below this threshold, at a later date, you will be able to claim free school meals again.
  • If you have claimed Universal Credit and are awaiting the outcome of your award. Free school meals cannot be awarded until a decision on Universal Credit entitlement is made
  • If you are already receiving free school meals at the school your child attends. Please note, under current rules you will continue to receive free school meals for the child until they leave their current phase of education

If you receive Working Tax Credit you will not be entitled to free school meals.