How to apply for free school meals

You can apply for your children to receive free schools meals if you are receiving certain welfare benefits.

All children get free school meals if they are in reception, year 1 or year 2. If you receive any of the benefits below you should still apply so that the school gets extra funding.

This money could go towards things like learning support and after-school activities.

Am I eligible?

You must already be receiving any of the following benefits to apply:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - you must annually take home £7,400 or less in Universal Credit payments. This equals an average of £616.67 per month in net earned income (after deductions).

You are not eligible for free school meals if you receive Working Tax Credit or other support payments that are not mentioned above.

Apply for free school meals

Receiving Universal Credit does not automatically entitle you to Free school meals as you will need to satisfy the financial criteria set by the Government.

Children who receive these benefits above directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals. If this applies to you, please complete the application with your own information.

Schools where you must apply directly

If your child attends one of the following schools, you'll need to apply directly to the school:

  • Barrington Primary School
  • Bedonwell Infant School
  • Bedonwell Junior School
  • Belvedere Infant School
  • Belvedere Junior School
  • Beths Grammar School
  • Burnt Oak Junior School
  • Chatsworth Infant School
  • Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School
  • Christ Church Primary School
  • Cleeve Meadow School
  • Cleeve Park School
  • Cornerstone School
  • Days Lane Primary School
  • East Wickham Primary Academy
  • Fairford Academy
  • Haberdashers Aske's Academy
  • Haberdashers Slade Green Primary School
  • Harris Academy Falconwood
  • Harris Garrard Academy
  • Hook Lane Primary School
  • Hurst Primary School
  • Jubilee Primary School
  • Leigh Academy Bexley
  • Lime Wood Primary School
  • Northumberland Heath Primary School
  • Northwood Primary School
  • Peareswood Primary School
  • Royal Park Primary Academy
  • St Augustine C of E Primary School
  • St Catherine's Catholic School
  • St Columba's School for Boys
  • St Michael's East Wickham CofE Primary School
  • St Paul's School
  • Sherwood Park Primary School
  • Townley Grammar School
  • Trinity Church of England School
  • Willow Bank Primary School

Paper forms are available from your child's school.

Change in circumstances

You must inform the Council immediately if you change address, stop receiving any of the qualifying support payment/benefits or about any other circumstance that might affect entitlement to free school lunches. If you do not, you may be liable to repay the cost of any lunches taken by your children.

Have a query about school lunches?

If you have a query about the quality or content of school lunches, please contact the school.