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Free school meals and pupil premium

Eligibility and how to apply

You may be eligible to receive Free School Meals and funding for your child’s school through the Pupil Premium, if you receive of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and your household annual gross income (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) is less than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit Run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit- NB: if you are working, your net income must be less than £7,400 a year (ie: after tax) . This does not include any benefits you get.
  • Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit

Pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 who attend a government-funded school are offered free school meals without the need to make an application. If you receive a qualifying benefit, it is important that you still apply for Free School Meals to get funding for your child’s school through the Pupil Premium.

Please note: for pupils not attending a school in the London Borough of Sutton, you must contact the council where your child attends school. 

Part time pupils are not entitled to free school meals. Children who qualify must be receiving education before and after the lunch period to be entitled to free school meals.

How to apply

Here, you can check that the school is a participating school and then apply online. If the school is not listed, you need to apply to the school directly.

If you do not have the internet at home, you can go to your local library or come to the Civic Offices and use one of our free computers.

Once your application is received, your details will be checked against the Department for Education database. If eligibility is confirmed, your child’s details will be passed to the school to arrange for your child to receive Free School Meals and for the school to receive the Pupil Premium funding.

Please note: There is no need to re-apply each term but you must tell if your child has moved schools and/or you have had a change in your financial circumstances. You can email any changes or enquiries to