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Free school meals

Your child will receive a healthy meal free of charge, and your school will get extra funding for every eligible child.

Even if you don’t want your child to receive a free school meal, you should still apply so that your child’s school receives as much funding as possible.​


Your child may 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 - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may 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, and 
  • in full-time education in a government-funded school

If your child is eligible, they will remain so until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022. This may change if you stop receiving asylum support or Pension Credit. You'll need to contact us so we can re-check your eligibility.

You can apply if your child attends school within Walsall borough, whether you live inside or outside the borough.

If you live in Walsall but your child goes to school outside the borough, you’ll need to find out which local authority the school is in. Apply with that authority, or directly to the school. 

Temporary eligibility for NRPF groups

The government has temporarily extended eligibility to include children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

If you are in one of these groups you should phone 0300 555 2855 to apply.

Free school meals for infants

All infant age pupils (reception, year 1 and year 2) will automatically receive a school meal free of charge if they're in a government-funded school.

If you are entitled to benefits-related free school meals, we still need you to complete the online application so that your school receives extra funding.

Extra funding for your school

Even if you don’t want your child to have the free school meal, you should still apply. The extra funding your school receives for each eligible child will be used to help your child. This works out at £1,345 for reception up to year 6, and £955 for year 7 to year 11.

Use your eligibility to support a home to school travel application

If your child receives a free school meal, you can use this as evidence to support an application for home to school travel assistance.