Free school meals are available to children whose parents or guardians are currently receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit – where total annual income is also less than £16,190
  • Income Support (with responsibility for children)
  • Income Based Job Seekers’ Allowance (with responsibility for children)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of state Pension Credit
  • Pupils who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ESA(IR)).
  • Universal Credit (if working annualised net earnings must be £7,400 or lower)
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Young people who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

Am I eligible if I’m claiming Working Tax Credits (with income less than £16,190)?

No, but if your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for WTC, you must inform the Inland Revenue and free school meals may start depending on your individual circumstances.

To support your application you may need to provide one of the following as evidence.

  • a copy of the page called “How your Income Support/Job Seeker’s Allowance is worked out” from a recent letter. If you do not have this, please contact your local Benefits Agency
  • your current Tax Award Notice. If you do not have this, contact the Inland Revenue Helpline on 0845 300 3900
  • a copy of the Pension Credit Award notice (M1000) or Child Tax Credit Notice (TC602)
  • asylum seekers need the NASS Reference Number to confirm entitlement

However, if you are currently in receipt of Housing/Council Tax Reduction then we will already have evidence of your income held on record, so there will be no need to supply the information unless we ask for it.

Applying for free school meals

If you would like to claim free school meals for your family you can complete the online form.

Once you are entitled to a free school meal you could automatically qualify for a school clothing grant and/ or an allowance which is administered by secondary schools.

Application forms are available directly from the school.

Change of circumstances

If you are claiming free school meals and there is a change in your circumstances that may affect your entitlement, please report the change to


If you have been accepted or are thinking of joining the 6th form next year you may be entitled to EMA.  This is a weekly payment of £30 to young people aged 16 or over who are continuing their studies.  

You may be entitled to these payments if: You are an only child and your household income is not above £20,817, or if you have brothers or sisters, your weekly income is not above £23,077.

Below is a booklet explaining EMA, an application form and notes on completing the form.  To receive payment from September you MUST complete the form by August 31st.

Little Book of EMA

Application Notes

Application Form