Free School Meals for Reception and Key Stage 1 vs Pupil Premium

Universal Free School Meals

From September 2014 all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in state-funded schools are automatically entitled to a free school meal.

However, if you think you receive one of the qualifying benefits we recommend that you still apply . This will mean your child’s school does not miss out on important funding. It may also mean your child will continue to receive free meals after the end of Year 2.

Other school years and nurseries

If you receive a qualifying benefit, free school meals are available for:

  • pupils at any school maintained by the authority (including a sixth form attached to a maintained school);
  • pupils attending maintained nurseries, as long as they are attending before and after lunch. Free school meals are not available to children attending private nurseries.

Do I qualify for Pupil Premium (free school meals after Year 2)

The current criteria for claiming free school meals are:
  • family receives Income Support or Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance. Please note, Contribution-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance does not qualify for free school meals (unless you receive both Income-based & Contribution-based JSA on an equal basis);
  • family receives the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;
  • family receives Child Tax Credit and has an annual income, as assessed by HMRC, not in excess of £16,190. Please note, families who are also entitled to Working Tax Credit do not qualify to claim free school meals regardless of income;
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related). Please note, Contribution-Based E&SA does not qualify for free school meals (unless you receive both Income-based & Contribution-based ESA on an equal basis).

The online checking system only confirms or denies your eligibility to claim free school meals: it does not give us any other information.

When your eligibility has been confirmed and your application processed, you will be sent an email confirming eligibility. The school will also receive notification of your child’s application.

The online checking system will continuously check your eligibility status and inform you and the school of any changes

If you are unsure on how to apply, please see the staff in the school office and they will be happy to assist you.


Please click on the link below to take you 

to the online application form.

Free School Meal Online Application