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Children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at maintained schools automatically get free school meals. Your child may also be eligible for free school meals beyond year 2 if the criteria is met.

Free school meals for reception, year 1 and 2 children

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 classes are entitled to universal infant free school meals. If you meet the qualifying criteria listed below, completing an application could help your children’s school get valuable extra funding through the pupil premium.

Who is eligible for free school meals?

  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400.
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190

How to apply for free school meals

  • Apply online
  • Call 0116 454 1009. Make sure you have your national insurance number when you call.

What is the Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium is extra funding the government gives to schools to raise the achievement of disadvantaged pupils. The amount a school receives depends on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals.

Parents are encouraged to register their children, even if:

  • they do not want to eat school meals
  • they already receive universal infant free school meals.

This is in order to raise extra money for the school, which can be used towards extra tuition, learning assistants or after school clubs.