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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 grant for your child.

You should include all the children in your household on the application form even if they are currently below school age. If you are applying for free school meals but have no recourse to public funds please complete a different form which you can find on our website.

Please visit our web site for further information about eligibility - Apply for free school meals and other grants for school pupils (opens in new window)

Changes in Circumstances

You must tell us immediately in writing, if for example:

  • You leave your present address
  • You start or stop receiving Universal Credit
  • You stop receiving Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
  • Your Child Tax Credit changes or you start to get Working Tax Credit while you are getting free school meals
  • Your child changes or leaves school
  • There is another change that could affect your benefits.


These are just examples, not a complete list.


From 1 April 2018, any child eligible to receive free school meals will continue to receive this regardless of the parent's income until the end of the child's current phase of education. Therefore you are not required to complete a form to renew an ongoing award only where a child has changed schools.

Note: If you are over 18 and still attend school, you can claim for free school meals if you receive any of the qualifying incomes.