Free school meals and pupil premium

If your child is eligible for free school meals, the school will get extra funding (pupil premium) for your child’s education when you apply – £935 per child in primary school and £1320 per child in secondary school.

The money can be used to help with the cost of school trips, extra teaching staff and activities.

Nursery (pre-schoolers age 3 and 4)

Your child could be eligible for free school meals if they attend a maintained nursery school all day and you or your partner receive a qualifying benefit.

Infant school - Reception and years 1 and 2

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 get free school meals regardless of your income. Get in touch with your school if you haven’t had a letter about this.

But if you or your partner do receive a qualifying benefit please apply or the school won’t get the additional funding.

Junior and senior school – Year 3 to year 11

Your child could be eligible for free school meals if you or your partner receive a qualifying benefit.

Qualifying benefits

If you or your partner receive any of the following benefits you can apply for free school meals.

  • Universal Credit – your household earned annual income must be less than £7,400 after tax and not including any benefits
  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit – with no Working Tax Credit and your annual household income is no more than £16,190 , as assessed by the Inland Revenue

How long will my child’s eligibility last?

If your child received free school meals before 1 April 2018 or became eligible after this date, they will continue to receive free school meals until March 2023 whilst Universal Credit is rolled out, regardless of any changes to you or your partner’s income.

After March 2023, your child will stay eligible until the end of their current phase of education. For example, if your child is in year 4 in 2023, they will receive free school meals until they finish primary school but will no longer be eligible in secondary school if you and your partner’s income is more than £7,400 per year.

Before you apply

  • If you’re a foster parent you cannot apply for free school meals as you already receive funding.
  • If you already receive free school meals for a child and just want to register another child, contact us instead of applying again.
  • If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, contact us instead of applying and we’ll update your details to include free school meals.

How to apply

Apply online and get an instant decision. We will inform your child’s school.

Remember, if your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2 and you or your partner receive a qualifying benefit you should still apply so your child’s school receives the extra funding.

Apply online