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Free school meals

Free School Meals and extra funding for your school
Free school meals are available to all pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) temporary extension of free school meals

During the coronavirus outbreak the Government have temporarily extended free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds.

These groups are:

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

These groups are also subject to a maximum household earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum.


The Government are also temporarily extending eligibility to some children of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This group is not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.

This extension is temporary and covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.

Families in these groups cannot apply online and should telephone 0300 555 2855

Further information can be found here

Changes to Free School Meals from 1st April 2018
If your child is eligible to receive a free school meal at any time before March 2022, they will retain their eligibility until this date. If your child is still in education in March 2022, they will retain their eligibility until the end of their current phase of education, primary or secondary.
Eligibility Criteria
Your child will be eligible if you receive one of the following:
  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Children, who receive these benefits directly instead of through a parent or guardian can also get a free school meal.
Infant School age Children
Children who attend reception to year 2 are entitled to a meal free of charge under a government scheme called Universal Infant Free School Meals, but your school still needs you to register to enable them to receive the extra funding.
Pupil Premium - extra funding
Your school will receive extra funding for all children recorded as being eligible for a free school meal. Funding is used to help your child.
Reception to Year 6: £1,345 per year.
Year 7 to 11: £955 per year
Your child does not need to take the meal if you would prefer them not to, but by being registered your school will receive the extra funding.
You can apply online quickly and simply by clicking on apply online link below.
You can also:
You can scan and email your completed form back to:   or send it into us.
Or you can get a free school meals application form from:
your child(ren)’s school
the Benefits Service at the First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall,WS1 1XU - by calling in person or telephoning us on 0300 555 2855