Free school meals
Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:
- 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 these benefits paid directly to them, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also apply for free school meals for themselves.
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
- in full-time education.
If you do not qualify for most benefits (also known as having ‘no recourse to public funds’), your child may still be eligible for free school meals. Ask their school or local authority whether they’re eligible.
Infant free school meals in England
Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2.
Tell your local authority if you also get any of the qualifying benefits. Your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.
Are there any conditions around claims for free school meals?
Children must be in education before and after lunch to qualify for free school meals.
Before applying for free school meals, contact the school to enquire if they process their own free school meals:
- If the school process their own free school meals, you will need to apply directly to the school.
- If Derby City Council process free school meals for the school, complete and return a Free School Meals Application Form to Derby City Council.
How do I claim free schools meals for my child?
If your child qualifies and is not at one of the listed schools, you may also want to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support at the same time.
If you only want to claim Free School Meals and Pupil Premium for full time pupils, download and complete the Free School Meals Application Form.
For more information or to get a paper copy, contact us on:
If you only want to claim Free School Meals, please download and complete the Claim for Free School Meals Form. Contact us for a paper copy or to get more information.