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Free school meals

As a reception class child starting school in September, your child will be able to have free lunches. This applies to all children in reception, year one and year two through the government’s Universal Free School meal programme. However, even if your child is in these year groups, it is also important to apply for free school meals (FSM) through North Somerset Council as you may be eligible and will benefit from other support too. For example:


  • Your school will receive additional funding called Pupil Premium which is used to further support eligible children and improve education outcomes.
  • Some school trips such as Y6 camp may be subsidised.


IMPORTANT - Reception starters

If your child is due to start primary school in September, please apply in the Summer holidays beforehand. If you apply too early then any successful application will be automatically deleted. Please do not use the system early to see if you may be entitled as it cannot give you an accurate prediction for September.


IMPORTANT – Ending Y2 and starting Y3

Your child will have been automatically able to have free school meals up to now as part of the universal scheme, however, if you meet the criteria and have not applied for FSM, your child will not receive them from Y3 onwards.


How to apply? Please go to: North Somerset Council apply for FSM


Your chosen school office can help you with your application from September onwards.


Are you eligible?

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

·         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.


Free school meals entitlement is for the child, not the family, so you will need to apply for each child when they start school.