Free School Meals
In England a Free School Meal (FSM) is a statutory benefit available to schoolaged children from families who receive other qualifying benefits and who have been through the relevant registration process.
Who can apply for free school meals?
Free School Meals can only be awarded if you or your partner are claiming either;
- Universal Credit provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
- Working Tax Credit run-on-paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax
How do I apply for free school meals and / or universal free school meals?
If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, an application form can be obtained from your child's school.
If your child is in Year 3 or above, you can complete an online Free School Meals Application Form.
What happens after I have completed my application?
- your eligibility for Free School Meals and / or Universal Free School Meals will be checked by your child's school
- if we receive your free school meals application form, eligibility will be checked online
- if you qualify for a Free School Meal under the benefit criteria, a letter will be sent to you confirming your Free School Meal Award
- your child or children's school will also be informed.
- contact your child's school to find out how your child's lunch will be served
- free School Meals cannot be granted to any child until either the school or ourselves have received a correctly completed form
- entitlement to free school meals cannot be backdated
- schools will know if your child qualifies for a Universal Infants Free School Meal