Free School Meals

Are you entitled to Free School Meals?

All mainstream schools in Buckinghamshire have an obligation to provide free school meals to eligible children that attend full time. Parents must apply directly to the school if they consider their child/children eligible to receive these meals. Eligibility is judged against the level of benefits that the applying parent/carer is entitled to.

If parents are in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits (see eligibility below) or have applied for them, then they should complete the application form for Free School Meal Provision. The school can then process your application. This form must be returned to the school at the beginning of each academic year (or when they enrol into the school).

Once you have returned an application form the school inform the Local Authority (LA) of your details. The LA will then check the pupils eligibility through the DfE Eligibility Checking Service website. They will then advise the school as to the eligibility of a pupil.

Under the current regulations only children whose parents/guardians are in receipt of any of the following will be entitled to Free School Meals.

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • An Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit - unless you meet any of the following criteria: i) entitled to working tax credit (regardless of income) ii) have an annual income in excess of £16,190 (this figure changes every April)
  • Universal Credit - annual earned net income is less than £7,400
  • Support under section VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Guarantee element of State Pension credit (GE)

It is important to register for entitlement to free school meals, even if your child has a packed lunch – this is so that we can receive additional funding (called the Pupil Premium) which we can use to help your child.

Free School Meals - Information