Free school meals and clothing vouchers are available for your child(ren) if you are receiving one of the following qualifying benefits:
Income Support (IS);
Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA);
An income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) that as of April 2012 does not exceed £ 16,190. Note: From 1st May 2009 where you are entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment ceases, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your children are entitled to Free School Meals, this may be extended.
The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;
Please note: If you are in receipt of working tax credits you may not be eligible for free school meals or clothing grants.
Children who receive Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive Free School Meals.
Children who receive "education suitable for children who have not attained compulsory school age" will still need to satisfy the additional requirement of "receiving education both before and after the lunch period", before being eligible to receive free school meals.
There are 2 ways to apply for free school meals and clothing vouchers:
Apply online. You will receive an immediate response advising you whether you are eligible or not.
Download and complete an application form (PDF 209kb) - Your eligibility will be checked on the Free School Meals electronic checking service.
Where eligibility cannot be confirmed, you may be asked to provide evidence of your current benefit entitlement.
No, you don't need to re-apply every year.
Regular electronic checks of all applicants currently claiming free school meals will be carried out by the free school meals service to confirm continued eligibility. You will only be contacted if we are unable to confirm your eligibility and will request further information is provided.
If you stop receiving a qualifying benefit you must inform the free school meals service immediately as free school meals will stop. You must also advise us if you cease to be the primary carer of the child(ren) you are claiming for or if you change address.
Free School Meals Service
Environment & Community Services
Park House Building
Kingmoor Business Park
Tel: 01228 221133
Tel: 01228 221133