Types of free school meals you can receive
There are two types of free school meals.
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 automatically get free school meals if they go to a state school, saving parents around £400 a year. It’s called Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). You don't need to apply but if you fill in a form - even if your child has been receiving a lunch for some time - if you are on benefits this will help your school gets extra money from the government for the school.
If your child is in Years 3-6 or at secondary school they could also be entitled to Free School Meals (FSM). For every very child who receives FSM the school also gets extra money from the government for the school.
Importance of a school lunch
A good nutritious meal at lunchtime has important health and educational benefits for children.
Evidence shows that eating a healthy school meal improves children’s concentration during afternoon lessons and can have a positive impact on classroom behaviour.
Good food can also help children to develop healthy eating habits and help to decrease health problems in the future.
Applying for a Free School Meal (FSM)
If your child is in Years 3-6 or at secondary school they could be entitled to free school meals (FSM).
For every successful application your school also gets additional money from the government to help with teaching and learning. It only gets this extra help if the child is registered under FSM.
You can apply though the local council.
You can also call your school office to get help or advice.
Applying is easy.
You can apply here.
Register that you receive Universal Infant Free School Meal
Help us receive extra money from the government if you register
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 automatically get free school meals if they go to a state school, saving parents around £400 a year. It’s called universal infant free school meals.
Although you do not have to apply to get these meals if your child is in reception, year 1 and year 2, if you receive one of the benefits listed below you should still complete an application form. Doing this will help your school get valuable extra funding through what is called 'the pupil premium'.
The amount of 'pupil premium' funding a school receives is based on the number of children who are eligible for free school meals and can be used towards extra tuition, teaching and after school activities. This funding can really make a difference.
Go to your school website for this form under 'FSM'
- Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Child Tax Credit only (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190.
- Working Tax Credit is a disqualifying benefit regardless of your household income – this means that you would not be entitled to free school meals while in receipt of Working Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- 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