Free school meals

Find out if your child is eligible for free school meals and how to apply



Children in reception, year 1 and year 2 automatically get free school meals. This is called Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) and you do not need to apply for it.

If you are a low income family and your child will be using free school meals, you can support your school by letting them know you are using the service. Your school will then be eligible to apply for more funding to support the provision of education for children in the school.

Read the list of bullet points under 'Children in year 3' to determine whether you are a low income family.

Children in year 3 and above

If your child is in Year 3 or above, and you receive one of the listed qualifying benefits, your child may be eligible for free school meals.

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit), with an annual income below £16,190
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance, income related
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit, with a household income of £7,400 or less (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

In accordance with national Department for Education advice, we cannot accept evidence of provisional tax awards.

Related content - Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium is extra funding schools can claim for children from low income families. GOV.UK has more information about the funding, including how schools should spend it.