Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can receive free school meals. This is regardless of income.
Children not in these years can also have free school meals if you receive any of these benefits:
Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
Income-based Job seeker's Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
The guarantee element of Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
If you think you might be eligible for free school meals, submit a claim using the form below.
The information you provide will be used to check if you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and, if you are on Universal Credit, that your earnings do not exceed the threshold. If you claim Universal Credit, your earnings will be assessed from up to three of your last Universal Credit assessment periods.
If you're currently claiming free school meals
The eligibility criteria for free school meals has recently changed. If you're currently claiming free school meals, but don't meet the new criteria above, your child will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they're in on 31 March 2023.
How to apply
You will need to apply for free school meals if you receive any of the above benefits, even if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2.