Free School Meals
Reception, Year 1 and 2
All Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in state-funded schools can have free school meals. If you think you receive one of the qualifying benefits we recommend that you still apply. This will mean your child’s school does not miss out on important funding. It may also mean your child will continue to receive free meals after the end of Year 2.
Other school years and nurseries
If you receive a qualifying benefit, free school meals are available for:
pupils at any school maintained by the authority (including a sixth form attached to a maintained school);
pupils attending maintained nurseries, as long as they are attending before and after lunch. Free school meals are not available to children attending private nurseries.
The Pupil Premium Grant
If you think your child may be eligible for free school meals please contact the school office. All enquires are dealt with in the strictest of confidence. Even if you do not wish your child to have a school dinner you should claim as it can enhance learning.
Qualifying for free school meals
Families who receive the following are eligible for Free School Meals:
Income-based job seeker’s allowance (JSA)
Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
Guarantee element of state pension credit
Both income-cased and contribution-based JSA/ESA if you receive the same amount for both. You should also qualify if you receive both but the Income-based amount is greater, but not if the contribution-based amount is greater.
Families who are awarded Child Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by HMRC, not in excess of £16,190 are also eligible to claim free school meals providing there is no entitlement to Working Tax Credit (unless in respect of a 4-week ‘run-on’).
The online checking system only confirms or denies your eligibility to claim free school meals: it does not give us any other information. If you are currently in receipt of either Universal Credit or the 4-week run on of Working Tax Credit the system will not automatically be able to determine your eligibility, therefore you will need to send proof that you are in receipt of these benefits to the Free School Meals office once you have completed and saved your application.
When your eligibility has been confirmed and your application processed, you will be sent an email confirming eligibility. The school will also receive notification of your child’s application. The online checking system will continuously check your eligibility status and inform you and the school of any changes.