Your child might be able to get free school meals if you are in receipt of 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 are in receipt of any of these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, may also eligible to receive free school meals.
Your child might also be eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary).
Infant free school meals in England
Your child will be able to get free school meals if they are in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2
Tell your local authority if you also receive any of the qualifying benefits. Your child’s school can receive extra funding if you do.
When you apply Cornwall Council will check your eligibility for free school meals (or Pupil Premium for KS1 pupils) by checking information against those held by HM Revenue and Customs, The Home Office and the Department of Work and Pensions.
Apply for Free School Meals
You can apply for free school meals (or Pupil Premium for KS1 pupils) online:
Apply for Free School Meals and Pupil Premium
Applying online is the quickest way for us to deal with your application. However if you prefer you can download the printable PDF to apply by post.
Applications will be processed within three working days of receipt. You will be notified of the outcome in writing of when your Free School Meals will commence. Please note that that we are unable to backdate any claim.
If you are successful in your application, your childs/childrens entitlement will continue until the end of their school life or until you cease to be eligible – whichever is first. There is no longer a need for claims to be renewed annually.
As the eligibility criteria for free school meals is determined by Central Government, not Local Government; as such, there is no appeal process for free school meals.
Benefits of a good meal at school
Cornwall Council believes that when children eat better, they achieve better. Whether families are paying for school meals or are entitled to them for free, children are more likely to concentrate in the classroom in the afternoon after eating healthy school lunches in a pleasant environment. This also improves their health and their learning about making better food choices.
Schools in Cornwall are responsible for arranging their own school meal provision; however, all schools must meet the national nutritional standards