Benefits for primary and secondary school pupils
Free school meals
Some children are entitled to free meals at school. Please read on for further information.
Changes to school meals for infants from September 2014
From September 2014, all children in the infants (reception, year 1 and year 2) will automatically receive a free school meal. It is important to sign up for school meals as registering could mean extra government funding for your child's school.
Even if you don't want your child to receive a free meal, it is important to register so that the school gets as much money as possible. This extra money could go towards things like extra tuition, learning assistants and after-school activities. Signing up for free school meals does not mean that your child must have a school meal five days a week. You can choose to provide a packed lunch on some days, if you prefer.
How to apply
To sign up for school meals, you will need to complete a pupil benefits registration/application form. Please download and fill out the electronic form from this webpage, or contact The Pupil Benefits Team for a paper copy.
Free school meals for year 3 and above
Free school meals are available for all school-aged children in year 3 or above whose parent(s), carer(s) or guardians(s) receive one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit only (provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income does not exceed £16,190)
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).
Young people who are claiming a qualifying benefit themselves can also get free school meals.
Our local schools cook nutritious meals every day, using only fresh ingredients. There is a different menu each day, and a choice of main dish. Vegetarian alternatives are available, and religious requirements can be met.
Some schools have further information about their meals available on their own websites. You can find links to these in our school directories.
Free school meals at academies
Different rules apply to academies. Academies are state-maintained but independently run schools in England. They are not under local authority control. You need to speak to the academy to see what, if any financial assistance, they might offer.
Please note, not all academies have the word 'academy' in their name. If in doubt, please contact the school to check if it has academy status.
If your child attends a state school outside Royal Greenwich, you will have to apply to the local authority in which the school is located.
All nursery schools provide free milk for all children. Some primary and special schools also provide milk. If your child’s school provides milk, your child can get free milk if:
- you get Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- or your child is in a nursery class.
To claim, contact the headteacher or school administrator to let them know that you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
Fully completed application forms will normally be processed within ten working days.
You must reapply for free school meals each year.
You must also inform the Pupil Benefits Team immediately if you:
- change address
- stop receiving any of the qualifying support payments or benefits
- change any other circumstance that might affect entitlement to free school meals.
If your child or children receives free school meals that they are not entitled to, you may be liable to repay the cost of all the meals that they have had.
If you have any queries regarding these guidelines please contact the Pupil Benefits Team.
On a term-by-term basis the information that you provide in your application will be shared with other sources, as allowed by law, to verify your entitlement
Applicants are advised that it is a criminal offence to knowingly make an untrue statement or other false representation to obtain a grant, contribution or other financial benefit from the Royal Borough.
We may use the information you have provided within the authority for the prevention and detection of fraud.