Free School Meals

As part of the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals initiative, all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children receive free school meals as a matter of course.

Children who receive any of the above benefits in their own right (i.e. they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get Free School Meals.

Eligibility

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Universal Credit with a household income of less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • Income-Based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, not entitled to Working Tax Credit and household income less than £16,190
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’ – the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you finish work

If your child is currently eligible for free school meals, that eligibility will be protected until Universal Credit is introduced (expected March 2022) even if your circumstances change. If your child is still in education on this date, they will be eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they are in.

If you have a younger child starting school in September and you are no longer eligible, they will not be protected because this would be a new claim.

Universal Free Meal Entitlement ceases once you child moves up into Year 3, if you think you are entitled to free school meals you will need to register with the Area Education Office – If you live in Preston, click here for more information.

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