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Free School Meals

Last updated 21/12/2022

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Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following benefits. This also applies if you are newly in receipt of benefits due to a change of circumstances:

  • 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 £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 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)

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

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023

Check your eligibility here


Free School Meals for Families with No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) Status

The government has extended the free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

Families can apply if they are from these groups:

  •    Zambrano
  •    Article 8 of the ECHR
  •    Chen
  •    BN(O) Passport holder
  •    Spousal visa holder
  •    Work visa holder
  •    Student visa holder
  •    Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
  •    Other

Evidence of income

To be eligible for free school meals, your families’ annual household income must be no higher than the following:

  • £22,700 for families outside of London with one child
  • £26,300 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £31,200 for families within London with one child
  • £34,800 for families within London with two or more children

This includes any wider income or support you may be receiving in addition to any earnings from employment. Where possible, please also provide a document to show this – this could be a bank statement, a pay slip or an employment contract.

In addition, the government is extending this offer to children of failed asylum seekers who are being supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Applicants from this group are not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.

For more information, read the government guidance on Providing free school meals to families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) - GOV.UK (

The application form can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page. Please email the completed application form with any necessary documents to

If you have trouble using or understanding the application form or if you have any questions, please get in touch with the Family Information Service for advice and guidance.

Email or call 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 1pm).

Other support available

In addition to the vouchers to support families through the school holidays, Ealing Council is topping up the Local Welfare Assistance fund with an additional £130,000 to help anyone facing financial hardship as a result of Coronavirus.

Anyone struggling to meet food costs, cover their rent or purchase essential items can apply for financial assistance.To find more information or to make an application go to, 

You can also visit our Food Banks page for details of food banks operating during this time. 

Food Banks, Food Distribution Services & Food Bank Collections |  Ealing Directory ( 

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