Free school meals

How to apply

You can apply by using the free school meal application [pdf] form.

They are available to download or ask for a paper copy from your child’s school or Contact Warrington.

Who is eligible? 

All state funded infant school children (i.e. those in reception, year 1 and year 2) receive a free school lunch. Check online with .GOV..UK [external site] to see what the criteria are.

The council is able to check online if you are eligible to receive free school meals.  You may be required to provide paper proof (or a screen shot of your online entitlement) for the benefit you are claiming that is listed above.

Foster carers are not entitled to claim free school meals as the fostering allowance includes funds to pay for school meals. 

From 1 April 2018, changes have been introduced by central government. During the rollout of these changes, any child with an existing entitlement to free school meals will continue to receive free school meals until the rollout is completed. The rollout is scheduled to end on 31 March 2022.

New free school meal claimants from the 1 April 2018 will also be entitled until the end of the Universal Credit rollout period.

Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, the child will keep their free school meal until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.

You must notify the council if:

  • Your child changes school
  • You change your address   

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.