Free School Meals

How to claim free school meals

Apply for free school meals - GOV.UK (

You can apply for free school meals if:

  • You receive a qualifying benefit
  • Your child is attending a school within the Central Bedfordshire area

From September 2014, the Government extended free school meals to students in further education and sixth form colleges. 


What are the qualifying benefits?

The qualifying benefits to receive free school meals are:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit, and your annual gross income does not exceed £16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit (during the initial roll-out of this benefit)

If you are getting a qualifying benefit, please tell us - your child's school will receive extra funding from the Government.


How do I apply for free school meals?

If you think you meet the free school meals eligibility criteria, call 0300 300 8306. When you call to apply for free school meals, have the following information ready:

  • National Insurance numbers and dates of birth for you and your partner
  • Dates of birth for your children
  • If you receive support from the National Asylum Support Service, your NASS number

Apply for free school meals - GOV.UK (

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