Free 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 decent lunch for your children, you can apply for free 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


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)

If your child is eligible for and getting free school meals at any time before 31 March 2022, they will remain eligible until this date. You do not need to apply for Free School Meals again if you are already eligible at a Bournemouth School.

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. The Local Authority will inform us of the Free School Meal eligibility.


Free School Meal Application Form

or Apply Online

or Apply by Phone
Customer Services BCP Council 01202 456223