Children in Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals regardless of any qualifying benefit. However, parents and carers are encouraged to complete the application form below as schools receive £1,300 per completed application form. This money is solely for the school. Even if you do not want your child to receive a free meal, don’t let your school miss out on this important extra funding that will benefit your child.
Parents of children in other year groups and in secondary schools must still apply for a free meal and your eligibility will be checked. With the introduction of universal credit, some of the eligibility criteria has changed. Please read our letter about free school meals and universal credit.
Your application will take approximately 2 weeks to process.
If you are making a new application, your child’s school can provide emergency meals for up to 4 weeks from the date you give them a completed application form along with proof that you receive benefits. The school will add a note to the application form to confirm the date the emergency meals started and pass it on to us for processing. The school will not be able to provide emergency meals without seeing proof of eligibility.
If you completed an application form last year and we checked your eligibility for free school meals on the ECS, you will not need to complete another application form. If we can't verify that the requirements are still met, we will contact you by letter to ask for proof of eligibility.
If your child changes school or you move, you must inform us by calling 020 7641 3412.
To find out more about your child’s school meals service, and for information about menus, dietary needs and allergens, please contact your child’s school directly.