Free School Meals

Applying for Free School Meals

The Government currently provide a free school lunch to all pupils in years R, 1 and 2 under a scheme called the Universal Infant Free School Meal Scheme (UIFSM). Confusingly, there is a similarly named scheme called Free School Meals which is means-tested and only available to families who fit the eligibility criteria based on household income and being in receipt of certain benefits.

Even if your child is receiving a free lunch under the first scheme (UIFSM), we would still strongly encourage parents and guardians to apply for Free School Meals, as we will receive additional funding to support learning for families who successfully apply, called Pupil Premium Funding. This could also mean that you have a discount on school trips. In addition, all families who successfully register with a pupil in Key Stage 1 will get a free school sweatshirt

Parents/carers in receipt of the following support payments will be entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (IRESA)
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, that does not exceed £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (the payment someone receives for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

How to apply

If you think you may be entitled then please log on to the Citizen Portal at: This is the quickest and easiest way to apply.

Alternatively, call the Education Helpline on 0345 155 1019. All information is confidential and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming..

Any families with Key Stage 1 pupils, who make a new application for free school meals which is approved through the online portal, will receive a free school sweatshirt.

Everyone will be the best they can be; Everyone has a voice; No-one is excluded.