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Free School Meals

From September 2014 all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England receive a free school meal. The government made this decision after a recommendation in the School Food Plan.

Free school meals will also continue to be available to pupils (including infants) whose parents receive certain benefits and who are registered to receive one. We encourage all parents who are in receipt of these benefits to register even when their child is in foundation, year 1 and 2 as this will allow the school to claim pupil premium which is then used to directly benefit their child in school.

Did you know that if your child is registered as eligible for free school meals, the school receives a pupil premium payment of £1,345 per year?  The school receives this payment whether or not your child has the school dinner.  This premium is used by the school to organise additional opportunities, which directly benefit your child.  No one will know you have registered and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.

How does it work?

Year 2 and below

If your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2 they can get free school meals as part of the national Universal Free Infant School Meals Scheme.

It is important that if you receive a qualifying benefit you still need to register for free school meals under the eligibility scheme.

Year 3 and above

If your child is under 19 and in full-time education, you may be able to get free school meals for them if you get one of these benefits: 

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit only, provided your annual household income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) does not exceed £16,190. Anyone entitled to Working Tax Credit is not entitled to free meals regardless of income
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit, if your earned income was £616.67 or less in your last monthly assessment period, or less than an average of £616.67 a month over the last 2 or 3 monthly assessment periods

If you think your child may be entitled to Free School Meals you can apply direct to Portsmouth City Council by clicking the button below

Apply for Free School Meals