Free School Meals
Am I eligible for free school meals?
You will be able to claim free school meals for your child if you receive one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit (provided you have a net income from employment of no more than £7400 per year). For more information on how the government calculates your earnings from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, please check the "Eligibility under Universal Credit" section below.
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and 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 £16190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Universal Infant Free School Meals
Currently, pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 are entitled to a free school meal thanks to a different government funding scheme known as universal infant free school meals (UIFSM). You shouldn’t confuse UIFSM with free school meals and the pupil premium.
If your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2 and is eligible for free school meals according to the criteria above, you should still register because we’ll receive the extra pupil premium funding.
Does my child have to eat the free school meals?
No. Pupils who are registered for free school meals don’t have to eat them. If you’re eligible but you want your child to have packed lunches you should still register because the school will receive the funding which can support your child in other ways.
Eligibility Under Universal Credit
To be eligible for free school meals, a Universal Credit recipient must have earnings from employment which do not exceed £7400 per year. Whether you exceed the £7400 per year threshold is determined by looking at any earnings from employment reported on your most recent Universal Credit statements. Firstly, the last complete Universal Credit assessment period is reviewed for income from employment in excess of £616.67 (one twelfth of the £7400 threshold).
If income from employment in the most recent Universal Credit period is less than £616.67, an applicant is eligible for free school meals. If it exceeds £616.67, then combined income from employment in the last two and then the last three assessment periods are considered (assuming Universal Credit has been received for longer than one complete period). The full income from employment thresholds are:
- £616.67 in the last assessment period (one twelfth of the £7400 threshold). If income is less than this amount in the most recent assessment period, an applicant is eligible for free school meals. If income exceeds this amount then:
- £1233.34 in the last two assessment periods (one sixth of the £7400 threshold). If the combined income is less than this amount in the two most recent assessment periods, an applicant is eligible for free school meals. If income exceeds this amount then:
- £1850 in the last three assessment periods (one quarter of the £7400 threshold). If the combined income is less than this in the three most recent assessment periods, an applicant is eligible for free school meals. If income exceeds this amount then an applicant is not currently eligible.
Universal Credit recipients can determine the amount of income from employment recorded on their claim by referring to the deductions section of their Universal Credit statements. An "earnings reported by your employer" amount will be recorded if appropriate.
Your child might also be eligible if you’re in a household with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), subject to a maximum income threshold. This is for children of:
- Zambrano and Chen carers (non-EEA nationals caring for a British citizen residing in the UK)
- British National (Overseas) passport holders
- Spousal visa, work visa, or student visa holders
- Those with no immigration status
- Families with a right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights
- Families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
- Certain failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Applying For Free School Meals
If you think you qualify for free school meals, you can complete an online application form via Slough Borough Council’s website at - https://www.slough.gov.uk/xfp/form/244
To use Slough Borough Councils online form, you must supply an e-mail address so you can be informed of the result of your application. If you don't have an e-mail address or would prefer to complete a paper application form, please apply via the school and request an application from the main office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call in at the reception desk.
Please make sure you have the following information ready before making an online application:
- your National Insurance number, or if you are an Asylum Seeker your National Asylum Support Service number (NASS)
- your personal information including your date of birth and full legal name
- your child's name and school
- details of the benefits you currently receive.