Families who receive the following are eligible for free school meals:
- income support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- guarantee element of state pension credit
- Universal Credit (with an annual income of less than £7,400)
- Both income-based 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’).
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 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 four week run on of Working Tax Credit you will need to send proof to us 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.
If your application is unsuccessful, the online checking system will continuously check your eligibility status and inform you and the school of any changes.
If your application is successful, your child(ren) will be eligible for free school meals until at least summer 2023, which is when the roll out of Universal Credit is due to be completed. This is irrespective of any changes to your financial circumstances.