Free Meal Entitlement Criteria
Free school meals are available to eligible pupils who attend school full-time. This includes:
- Younger children who attend nursery for full days
- Sixth form school pupils
A pupil may be able to get free school meals if their parent or guardian gets 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
- Guarantee 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
- to 31 March 2019, Universal Credit (1)
- from 1 April 2019, Universal Credit - provided your household has an annualised net earned income (2) of no more than £7,400 ( as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
(1) This was done as a temporary measure, pending the development of new eligibility criteria.
(2) Net earned income is defined as household income after taxes and deductions. It does not include income from Universal Credit or other benefits.
Pupils who receive Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance in their own right could also be able to receive free school meals.
By Law no other category of support payment or combination of Tax Credits qualify for free school meals. Similarly, there are no other circumstances that can legally justify the provision of a free meal. Contribution-based Job Seekers Allowance (CBJSA), Working Tax Credit and Invalidity Benefit do not qualify; also being in receipt of both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit does not qualify.
Child starting school for the first time must complete an application for free school meals, even if they have a sibling at the same school or another school who is already getting free school meals. Awards will not automatically be made where siblings are in receipt of free school meals.
Please Note: Free School Meal applications will not be backdated.
If you stop receiving qualifying payments, or if you change to another type of support payment you must inform School and Family Support team immediately. Your child may no longer be eligible to receive a free school meal. If you continue to claim free meals to which you are not entitled you will be required to pay for the meals provided and further action may be taken.
How to apply?
You should complete this online form if you are applying for Free School Meals for the new academic year of 2019/2020.
If you are applying for the remainder of the current academic year (2018/19), please complete a paper form provided on our website.
Please download and complete the form below. Please return to
Schools and Family Support Team,
For any further queries, please contact us:
Schools and Family Support Team on 01639 763515 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renewal of Free School Meals
If you are already claiming free school meals for your child, for each new school year, this entitlement will automatically follow your child. However, if your child is moving to a new school (i.e. moving from primary to secondary school, commencing Reception or transferring to a school within Neath Port Talbot) a new application will have to be submitted.