Free school meals

Paying for school meals can be very expensive for some families; however parents who get certain government benefits and/or Tax Credits can get help by applying for free school meals.

Parents do not have to pay for school lunches if they receive any of the following:

  • 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 Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals. However, you still need to complete an application form, as this ensures that the school receives the funding to pay for your child's meals.

You can contact us 

An application should be made direct to the local authority where the school your child attends is located. Find out if you are entitled to free school meals using the City of London's Eligibility Checker.