Free school meals
All state funded infant school children (i.e. those in reception, year 1 and year 2) receive a universal free school lunch.
Other children and young people in full time education who are under the age of 19 are only entitled to free school meals if their parents/carers are in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:
- Income support or
- Income-based job seekers allowance or
- Child tax credit (but who are not entitled to working tax credit* and whose annual income is less than £16,190 from 1 April 2010) or
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or
- The guarantee element of state pension credit
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Equal base job seekers allowance/employment and support allowance
- Universal Credit
*Where a parent/carer is entitled to working tax credit during the four week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start work less 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school meals for that period. Your child will be able to receive their free school meals from the date that your eligibility has been confirmed.
The council is able to check online if you are eligible to receive free school meals. If you are required to provide paper proof of your entitlement, you'll need to provide one of the benefits listed above.
Foster carers are not entitled to claim free school meals as the fostering allowance includes funds to pay for school meals.
You must notify the council if:
- You cease to be eligible to receive one of the benefits listed above
- Your child changes school
- You change your address
How to apply
Transferring from primary school to high school
If the student was entitled to free school meals in year 6 you don't need to complete a form and your entitlement will continue.
Transferring from high school to a sixth form attached to a school
If the student was entitled to free school meals in year 11 you do not need to complete a form and your entitlement will continue.
Students who are attending a sixth form college that is not attached to a school should visit the college website for more information about free school meal provision.
Paper forms are also available from schools or Contact Warrington in the Town Centre.