Free School Meals

Free School Meals

Free Meal Entitlement Criteria

Free School Meals is a benefit awarded in respect of statutory school age children in full time education where the parent or guardian is in receipt of one of the benefits shown below:

  • Income Support;
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IB JSA);
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190 (HM Revenue and Customs are responsible for assessing the level of annual income)
  • The Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit.
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA(IR))
  • Universal Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit (proof must be submitted)

NB. Children in receipt of Income Support and Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA) in their own right are also entitled to 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?

Apply online

Please download and complete the form below.  Please return to

Schools and Family Support Team,
Civic Centre,
Port Talbot,
SA13 1PJ.

For any further queries, please contact us:
Schools and Family Support Team  on 01639 763515 or email:

Application for Free School Meals
File type Document File size
pdf Free School Meal Application 2018-2019 391 KB


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.