All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 are eligible for universal free school meals but children may also be eligible for means tested free school meals. If you believe your child may be eligible (even if they are in reception, year 1 or year 2) as this will bring in additional funding to help them in school plus make them eligible for free breakfast club care if required.
Eligibility for Free School Meals
Free school meals are available to all key stage one pupils and to children whose parents receive certain benefits.
From 1 April 2018 the Government introduced new regulations for people claiming free schools meals who receive Universal Credit. The change means that if your net annual earnings are more than £7,400 you will not be eligible to claim free school meals.
Pupils who received free school meals before 1 April 2018 and pupils who are assessed as eligible after 1 April 2018 will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal roll out period, which is expected to be March 2022. This applies even if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria at a subsequent point during the roll out period.
At the end of the Universal Credit roll out period, any existing pupil who no longer meets the eligibility criteria will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary school.
Qualifying for free school meals
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get 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 guaranteed 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
- Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
- Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.
Apply for free school meals
If you meet the criteria, apply by using application form (link is below).
Applications are usually processed within five working days. You will be notified in writing, either by post or email, if your child is entitled and we will also let the school know. You should continue to pay until confirmation comes through. Schools may be able to arrange reimbursement of payment made while your entitlement is being confirmed.
Free school meals claims cannot be backdated. They are awarded from the date we receive the application, once eligibility is confirmed. This is because there is a legal requirement for a request to be made, before a free school meal can be provided.
If you are not entitled to free school meals, you will be notified in writing.
Universal free school meals for infants
If your child is in reception, year one or year two they are automatically entitled to a free school meal. Parents who are on benefits and meet the above criteria are still encouraged to complete the application form below, known as pupil premium funding.
https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/sites/default/files/fileroot/Education%20a... benefits the school and helps increase your child’s attainment. During the current roll out of Universal Credit if your child is approved for free school meals they will gain ‘transitional protection’ until at least March 2022.
In England, children at key stages 2-4 in state-funded schools are entitled to receive FSM if their parents or carers are in receipt