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Free Hot School Meals

We want to make sure that every child eats well when they’re at school. If your family finds it difficult to afford a lunch for your children, you can apply for free hot school meals.

Complete the application form fully. You MUST provide all the information we have asked for so that we can carry out a benefit check. You do not have to send in evidence of the benefits you receive unless asked to.

Free School Meals – APPLICATION FORM

or Apply Online

If you are entitled to income based free school meals, you may also be entitled to a clothing grant (please see School clothing Allowance Policy) and free school milk.


Who Qualifies for Free School Meals?

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • JSA – Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • ESA – Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’ – the payment you may receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Families who have an irregular immigration status have no recourse to public funds (NRPF); they may be entitled to claim Income-Based Free School Meals subject to income thresholds. 

Free School Meals – APPLICATION FORM

Alternatively, paper application forms are available from the School Office

Protected Eligibility

If your child is eligible for and gets Free School Meals at any time before March 2025, their eligibility is protected until this date and your child remains eligible until they finish the phase of education they are in.   You do not need to apply for Free School Meals again if you are already eligible at a Bournemouth School.

If you are eligible for free school meals, our school can access the Pupil Premium Grant. This grant per eligible pupil,  is spent by our school to help eligible pupils reach their full potential, both academically and socially.  Your support in claiming income-based free school meals enables us to access this much needed, additional funding

You are not eligible for Free School Meals if:

  • You are not claiming one of the benefits from the list above
  • You receive Working Tax Credit (excluding the 4-week run on)
  • Or, your annual Household Income is over £16,190 (before tax and any other deductions)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time, state maintained nursery education may also be able to get free school meals.

Please return the completed form to:

Children’s Information Service
Town Hall, Bourne Avenue

Next Steps once application has been received:

  1. Once the authorities receive your completed application for Free School Meals they will check your benefit entitlement with data held by the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and HMRC (Revenue and Customs) through a central Eligibility Checking System (ECS). If they cannot confirm your entitlement through this process they will write to you to ask you to provide up-to-date evidence of the benefit you receive.
  2. The Local Authority will inform you in writing whether or not your child/children are entitled to free school meals.
  3. Please advise the school that your eligibility has been confirmed.