Free school meals, clothing and school trip grants
The best place for a young person is in the classroom, and we want to make it as easy as possible for families to keep their children at school and learning.
Good attendance leads to good outcomes but we know the cost of living can make things really difficult.
If you receive a qualifying benefit and you have a child in primary or secondary school, you may be able to get free school meals, school clothing grants or school journey grants for your child.
The Pupil Benefits Team will work out what support you can get.
You should include all the children in your household on the application form even if they are currently below school age.
You may experience delays during particularly busy periods, such as at the start of the new school year when we will be processing a large number of applications and prioritising paying school clothing grants. If you have already applied and are waiting, please do not apply again unless you are providing new information. This will help us process any backlogs as soon as possible.
Free school meals
To get free school meals, your child must attend a school within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. If your child attends a school in another borough you will need to apply to the relevant council or school directly.
If your child goes to an academy school
We can only provide free school meals for children who attend academies in the borough that we have a local agreement with. These are:
- Charlton Park Academy
- King’s Oak School (formerly Moatbridge)
- Leigh Academy Blackheath
- Royal Greenwich Trust School
- Stationers' Crown Woods Academy
- St Paul's Academy
- Waterside Primary School
- Woolwich Polytechnic Girls
- Woolwich Polytechnic Boys
If your child goes to an academy that is not on this list, you will need to contact the academy directly to see if your child can get free school meals from them.
Infant free school meals
All children automatically get free school meals when they are in:
- year 1
- year 2
- year 3
- year 4
- year 5
- year 6
If you are on a qualifying benefit you should still complete an application form to make sure you don't miss out on other benefits such as free holiday clubs and support payments during the holidays. Your school will get extra money from the government, and that money could go towards things like extra tuition, learning assistants and after-school activities.
Eligibility for children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
Free school meals have now been extended to children in all households with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
These groups include, but may not be limited to children of:
- Zambrano carers
- families who have no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
- a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Chen carers
- families holding a BN(O) passport
- spousal visa holders
- work visa holders
- student visa holders
- those with no immigration status
Under the permanent extension of free school meal eligibility to all NRPF groups, the annual household income thresholds for those families able to work are:
- £22,700 for families outside of London with 1 child
- £26,300 for families outside of London with 2 or more children
- £31,200 for families within London with 1 child
- £34,800 for families within London with 2 or more children
Whether or not a person will be considered within the London or the outside London threshold will be determined by the address of the family.
If the family is living within the local authority of one of the 33 London boroughs, the London thresholds will apply. If the family does not live within one of these local authorities, the outer London thresholds will apply.
Free meals for children and young people during school holidays
Free meals and support are available during every school holiday for children and young people living in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
School clothing grants
If you receive a qualifying benefit and you live within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, your child may be able to get a school clothing grant.
To be eligible, your child much attend a school that is managed by a local authority. This is known as a ‘council maintained school’.
If you live in another borough you will need to contact the relevant council or school to see if you can receive any help.
If you have been re-housed temporarily by the Royal Borough of Greenwich but you’re living in another borough, you may still be eligible to receive help from us.
We cannot provide school clothing grants for any child who attends an academy. You should contact the academy directly to find out what support they offer.
When you can get a school clothing grant
You can get school clothing grants when your child reaches the relevant age on 1 September. You will get:
- £50 when your child is in reception, age 4
- £50 when your child is in year three, age 7
- £150 when your child is in year seven, age 11
- £100 when your child is in year nine, age 13
When to apply
You can apply for a school clothing grant if you are eligible because of your income, or when your child starts or changes school when entering a qualifying year group.
Your child must have a confirmed place at a council maintained primary or secondary school when you apply.
On the application form you must fill in the name of the school your child will go to in September and not their current school. For example, if they are changing from primary to secondary school, you should put the name of the secondary school.
We may contact you to provide evidence of your income when we consider your application.
School journeys grants
The Royal Borough of Greenwich offers financial help towards the board and lodging costs of some school journeys that are for two nights or more.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich offers financial help towards the board and lodging costs to approved field study centres that are for two nights or more.
We cannot provide school journey grants for any child who attends an academy. You should contact the academy directly to find out what support they offer.
When school journey grants are paid
When schools arrange a journey, they notify us of the dates and destination.
If you have completed an application form in the last six months you do not need to complete a new form, but you need to provide evidence of your current income.
How to apply
How to apply if you have NRPF
To apply for free school meals if you have NRPF, you should print and complete the application form and send it to us by post or email.
Send your completed form to:Pupil Benefits
The Woolwich Centre
35 Wellington Street
London SE18 6HQ