Check if your child can get free school meals, and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website.
What you need to know
Free school meals are only available in England and Wales.
Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of 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 paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
Infant free school meals
Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2
Tell your local authority if you also get any of the above benefits. Your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.