Free school meals are available for children if their parent or carer receives certain benefits. Apply immediately if you think you will qualify.

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 infants are entitled to a universal free school meal; a government scheme. If your child qualifies for a universal free meal and would also qualify for free school meals under the eligibility criteria, please still apply.   

It is important to apply as this registers your child for the pupil premium; funding available to schools for children who qualify for free school meals via the eligibility criteria. 

If you don’t apply, your child’s school will miss out on funding which could go towards equipment, resources, trips or uniform discounts.

If your child prefers to take a packed lunch or make other arrangements, you will still need to register for free school meals for your school to receive the pupil premium funding.  

Who can get free school meals? 

Eligibility criteria

Parents or guardians are entitled to get free school meals or milk for their children if they receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with a total annual taxable income of less than £16,190 and are not receiving Working Tax Credit
  • income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit depending on how much you receive if you or your partner is working 
  • have successfully obtained asylum status

If you are a foster carer, and receiving a fostering allowance, you are not eligible to claim free school meals for those children you are fostering from school year 3 and above.


Apply for free school meals

You will receive an immediate response to your application via email. This will tell you if you are eligible and you will be sent a letter of confirmation.

If you need to contact us regarding the outcome of your application please email [email protected]. Please include your full name, address and a contact number.    

If you feel you should qualify and have been turned down please state your reasons.

Change in circumstances

If you have a change in your circumstances, for example your child changes school or you or your partner stop receiving any of the benefits listed above, please contact us as soon as possible:

Schools - check which pupils have free school meals

The Ed Bens Connect system allows schools to see which of their pupils have been awarded free school meals. The system is completely secure and schools can only view data about their own pupils. You can register as a user of Ed Bens Connect on this website.

Log in or register for Ed Bens Connect

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