Check with your local council to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and find out how to apply.
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state schools in England automatically get free school meals.
What you need to know
- Available in England and Wales only
- Includes offline steps
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the 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
Children who get any of the above benefits in their own right (ie they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get free school meals.
Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be able to get free school meals.