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For Parents/Carers

Free School Meals

Please read the information below about Free School Meals, taken from the North Yorkshire website. If you believe that you may be eligible for Free School Meals, we have forms in the office. Additional funding for Western is available for children who are eligible for Free School Meals (if other conditions are met) so it is extremely important to us that you apply even if your children qualify for the Universal Infant Free School Meals. Free school meals are available to all Key Stage One pupils and to children whose parents receive certain benefits.


From 1 April 2018 the Government introduced new regulations for people claiming free school meals who receive Universal Credit. The change means that if your net annual earnings are more than £7,400 you will not be eligible to claim free school meals. Pupils who received free school meals before 1 April 2018 and pupils who are assessed as eligible after 1 April 2018, will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal roll out period, which is expected to be March 2022. This applies even if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria at a subsequent point during the roll out period. At the end of the Universal Credit roll out period, any existing pupil who no longer meets the eligibility criteria will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary school.


Qualifying for free school meals

To qualify for free school meals, you must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • Universal Credit, provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods (£616.67 per month)
  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are also not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual household gross income that does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by HMRC) or
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

Please note that contributions-based benefits, including contribution- related Jobseeker’s Allowance do not entitle you to claim free school meal


Frequently asked questions

If my child is at nursery, is he/she still entitled to free school meals? Nursery children are entitled to free meals if they meet all the following criteria:

  • Their parents receive one of the qualifying benefits for free school meals
  • The child receives education before and after the lunch-time period
  • The child is in a maintained nursery provision and
  • The parents, or another responsible adult, have made a claim for a free meal.

Applying for free school meals

If you meet the criteria, apply by using the application form (pdf / 263 KB).

Applications are usually processed within five working days. You will be notified in writing, either by post or email, if your child is entitled and they will also let the school know. You should continue to pay until confirmation comes through. Schools may be able to arrange reimbursement of payment made while your entitlement is being confirmed.

Free school meals claims cannot be backdated. They are awarded from the date we receive the application once eligibility is confirmed. This is because there is a legal requirement for a request to be made before a free school meal can be provided.

If you are not entitled to free school meals, you will be notified in writing.


Universal free school meals for infants

If your child is in Reception, Year One or Year Two, they are automatically entitled to a free school meal. Parents who are on benefits and meet the above criteria are still encouraged to apply for additional funding (pdf / 337 KB), known as pupil premium funding. This benefits the school and helps increase your child's attainment. During the current roll out of Universal Credit, if your child is approved for free school meals they will gain 'transitional protection' until at least March 2022.


Forms for download can be found here

Western Primary School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Harrogate Grammar School, Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 0DZ

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