Guidance notes for free school meals application form

If your child is in nursery

All children who attend a local authority maintained nursery and receive education before and after lunch are entitled to free school meals if the eligible criteria below is met.

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2

All children in the above school years are entitled to free school dinners and to ensure efficient administration of these meals at school, all parents are required to complete this application and return to the school as soon as possible. Once this application has been completed and returned, you do not need to take any further action.

If your child is in Year 3 or above

  • Free school meals can only be awarded if you or your partner is in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:
    • Income support or income based job seekers allowance
    • Income-related employment and support allowance
    • Universal Credit if NET earnings do not exceed £7,400
    • Pension guarantee credit
    • Child tax credit, where working tax credit is NOT in payment AND your annual income does not exceed £16,190 (as determined by HM revenues and customs)
    • Working tax credit 'Run On' (a 4 week payment when your employment has ceased or your working hours reduce below 16)
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • If you have completed Section A in full, you will only need to submit evidence of entitlement if you receive Universal Credit (UC) or if your eligibility cannot be confirmed. Please provide your latest UC award notice with your application as this will speed up the processing of your claim. We will contact you separately if we require further information with reference to any other income
  • Due to Government changes, if you are entitled to Free School Meals after 1 April 2018, you will receive the free meals until at least March 2022. This is irrespective of your circumstances and income. You MUST notify us if your child(ren) change schools in this period in order to ensure our records are accurate
  • Free school meals will only be awarded on receipt of a completed, approved application form and will commence from that date. Please note - applications cannot be backdated
  • You only need to complete one application form for all your children, even if they attend different schools within Herefordshire Council's jurisdiction
  • Applications can only be made for children attending a school within Herefordshire local authority. If your child or children attend a school in a different authority, your application for free school meals should be made to that authority, even if you reside within Herefordshire
  • It is important that you notify us immediately of any changes to your circumstances as this could affect your entitlement to free school meals

Apply online for free school meals

Download a free school meals application form

If you download and complete a form, please send your completed application to one of the following:

This document is available in a variety of other formats if required. If you have any questions or require assistance in completing this form, please contact us on 01432 260333.