Check with your local council to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and find out how to apply.
You don’t need to apply if your child’s in reception, year 1 or year 2 in a state school in England. They’ll get free school meals automatically.
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.