Free School Meals

Do I qualify to claim free school meals?

Families of children and young people in full-time education at any school maintained by Leicestershire County Council may be entitled to claim free school meals, providing they receive a qualifying benefit.

Qualifying benefits

The current criteria for claiming free school meals are as follows:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based)
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the annual taxable income, as assessed by the Inland
  • Revenue is not in excess of £16,190. Families who also receive an award of Working Tax Credit do not qualify to claim for free school meals
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Children who receive Income Support (IS) or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals

Temporary qualification for free school meals

From 1st May 2009 where a parent has been entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, they will be eligible to claim free school meals over that period.
Claimants MUST complete a hard copy application form and send it to us with a copy of their Tax Credit Decision Notice, which will be issued immediately by HMRC to a claimant who has notified them that they have stopped working. Applications will not be accepted without this document and free school meals authorisation will not be granted prior to the date of application, or extended beyond the end date shown on the Tax Credit Decision Notice. In order to qualify for free school meals after that date the claimant will need to be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits listed in the previous section, and evidence of this provided.
No other benefits qualify for free school meals

How do I apply?

Applying for Free School Meals is easy. You can:-

  • Ask at the School Office
  • Email on
  • You can download the Free School Meals Application Form (Word doc, 140kb)
  • Request an application form on 0116 3056588 or 0116 3057093
  • Apply via telephone on 0116 3056588 or 0116 3057093

Postal address is:
School Food Support Service
Room 400
County Hall

How often do I need to apply?

You only need to apply for free school meals once, your eligibility will then be checked on a 4 weekly basis via the central benefit records database. If after this check of eligibility it is found that you are no longer eligible we will write to you requesting to see proof of the benefits you are receiving, types of benefit proof accepted are detailed below.

Click here to visit the Leicestershire County Council Website

Click here to find out more about pupil premium