Learning for Life
Free School Meals
Infant free school meals in England
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in a government-funded school are eligible for Free School Meals; however, tell your local authority if you also receive any of the qualifying benefits (see below) as the school can benefit from extra funding to support your child if you do.
Is my child eligible for free school meals in England
Free School Meals are a statutory benefit. Applying for a free school meal could raise up to an extra £1320 per annum for six years for your child’s school (funded by central government). This can help to fund valuable teaching and learning support for your school (and is still paid to the school even if your entitlement ceases).
The Government recognises the benefits mentioned below. If you are not sure, please contact us.
Free school meals are available to children of families who are in receipt of:
- Universal Credit – as long as they have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’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 are entitled to Working Tax Credit during the 4-week period immediately after your employment stops, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your child would also be eligible to free school meals for this 4-week period only.
Children who receive these benefits in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
In cases where children receive education who have not attained compulsory school age, there will be a conditional requirement that they receive education both before and after the lunch period, before being eligible to receive Free School Meals.
To access further documents, please click on the links below: