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Free school meals

Your child may qualify for free school meals if you or their other parent are receiving Income Support, income-based Job Seekers Allowance from the Department of Social Security (DSS) or support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Under the current criteria, children who receive, or whose parents receive, one or more of the following support payments are eligible to receive free school meals

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (IRESA)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (NASS)
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Please note that even if you would not require a free meal for your child, if you are entitled, your child’s school can still qualify for additional funding, allowing them to spend more on your child’s education.

If you think your child is eligible please contact your child's school for an application form and further details. See the contact details for Local Authority schools on our List of schools page.

Last Updated 10/11/2021

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