Free school meals

There are changes to the free school meals application process, due to the roll out of Universal Credit.

Eligible pupils will remain entitled to free school meals until the end their current phase of education, as at March 31 2022.

Due to the Universal Credit roll out, all pupils currently listed as eligible for free school meals will be protected until March 31 2022, regardless of benefit changes.

This means that if you are currently entitled to free school meals you will not have to reapply until your child changes school after March 31 2022, regardless of your benefit status.

If your child changes school during this time, please contact us so we can update your free school meals record. You can contact us by emailing fsm@n-somerset.gov.uk or calling 01275 888 328, and we can update your record without the need to reapply.

If you are currently entitled to free school meals you do not need to reapply for next term. If your child is changing schools please contact us so we can update your free school meals record.

If you are currently entitled to free school meals you will need to apply again when your child changes schools after March 31 2022. This could be from primary school to secondary school, or secondary school to sixth form (even if the sixth form is at the same school)

If you haven’t yet applied for free school meals please apply online by clicking on the ‘apply for free school meals’ button further down this page.

If you have applied and are not entitled, but you think you meet the criteria please check your National Insurance number and try again. If this doesn’t work please click on the ‘referral’ button, let us know what benefits you are on and we can look into this for you.

Criteria for free school meals

Children attending our schools whose parents or carers receive any of these benefits are entitled to free school meals:

  • 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 with annual Take Home Pay/Net Earnings below £7,400 (which equals £616.67 per month) benefits not included

Applying

The application process has now changed.

You can apply online to get an instant result. If you are eligible, your entitlement will begin on the day you apply and will last until the end of the school phase your child is in as at March 31 2022. You will not have to reapply during this time.

If you are eligible you will be able to download an eligibility letter. If you are applying during the school holidays, we will notify the school for you. If you are applying during term time, you’ll need to show the school the letter in order to get your free meals. Keep a copy of the letter in case the school asks to see it again.

If you are already entitled, you do not need to apply again until the end of the school phase your child is in as at March 31 2022.

apply for free school meals

You can still apply for free school meals if you claim benefits and have a child in reception, year 1 or year 2. This is to:

  • make you eligible for other financial assistance for items such as school trips
  • enable a school to receive the funding

Changes to your circumstances

You must let us know any change in address or benefits that you receive. Entitlements to free school meals are reviewed regularly so your entitlement may be cancelled if we don’t have current details.

free school meals

fsm@n-somerset.gov.uk