Free school meals

Free meals are automatically available to all Key Stage 1 (reception, year 1 and year 2) children under the Universal Infant School Meals Scheme. You can apply for free school meals for older children in full-time education up to the age of 18 if you are in receipt of certain benefits.

To find out how to access free school meals, select your child's year group.

​All children in reception, year 1 or year 2 are automatically entitled to free school meals under the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme.

You will need to find out from the school how to order and access the meals.

Contact your child's school directly if you have any other questions about the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme.

Pupil Premium - extra support for your child

You can apply for the Pupil Premium which provides your child's school with additional funding to support them.

Please be aware that a child must reside with the applicant to receive the Pupil Premium.

Apply for the Pupil Premium

If you are in receipt of any of the following, your child may be eligible for free school meals.

  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, with no element of Working Tax Credit, and a household income below £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs)
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

If a child resides in a local authority care home they will not qualify for free school meals. This is because government funding has already been allocated to fund their meals.

A child must reside with the applicant to receive free school meals.

How do I apply?

Check your eligibility and apply for free school meals using our online form:

Apply for free school meals

What happens next?

  • Your claim will be sent to the free school meals team for authorisation.
  • The school will be informed within 3 working days when authorisation has been confirmed. You will then need to find out from your school how to order and access the meals. Please note, during September and October there is a longer wait for applications to be processed.
  • The school will receive £2.30 towards the cost of your child's meal.

What if my circumstances change?

You need to let us know if there is a change in circumstances which may affect your child receiving free school meals. Please contact the free school meal team if:

  • you stop receiving an eligible benefit
  • you change your address

Email freeschoolmeals@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Contact the free school meals team

If you require any help or support in checking your eligibility for free school meals, please do not hesitate to get in touch:

freeschoolmeals@northamptonshire.gov.uk

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