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Free school meals and financial assistance at secondary school

Some children will be entitled to free school meals. Find out if your child is eligible.

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you (or the young person themselves, where appropriate) get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of State 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) as assessed by HMRC
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)

Young people age 16 to 18 who receive these benefits or Tax Credits in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

To find out whether you are entitled to claim any benefits call our welfare benefits helpline tel: 01629 531535.

Financial assistance for post-16 students

Schools, colleges and training providers now have bursary funds to help students facing financial hardship.

For advice speak to your tutor at school or college.