Free school meals and Pupil Premium

Did you know that when your child receives a free school meal we also receive additional funding?

If you think you may be entitled, then please apply.


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

  • Universal Credit with a household income of less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • Income-Based Jobseekers' Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, not entitled to Working Tax Credit and household income less than £16,190
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit 'run on' – the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you finish work

If your child is currently eligible for free school meals, that eligibility will be protected until Universal Credit is introduced (expected March 2022) even if your circumstances change. If your child is still in education on this date, they will be eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they are in.

If you have a younger child starting school in September and you are no longer eligible, they will not be protected because this would be a new claim.

Register for Free Schools Meals and Pupil Premium on the LCC website

Apply Online:

Apply online using the link below:

Apply by Phone:

You can ring your local area education office on 01772 532 109 Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm. Closed for bank holidays.

It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings.

You will need to provide your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • National insurance number

They will confirm whether you are entitled over the telephone.

Apply by Post:  

Download the application form and return it to your local area education office.

Free school meals and pupil premium form (PDF 939 KB)

If you apply by post we will notify you by email, or post if you do not provide an email address.

What happens next

We will confirm whether you are eligible by email. If you do not get an email within 5 working days, contact your area education office. Remember to also check your spam or junk email folder.

If you are eligible, we will let the school know that your child can have free school meals.

Schools differ in how they inform the dinner service who can get free school meals. Please contact your school if you have any questions.

Proof of benefit

We use the government benefits database to check entitlement for free school meals.

If it shows that you are not entitled, you may need to provide further proof of your entitlement so that we can check your claim again.

You can do this by providing us with a copy of one of the following documents:

  • Your most recent Universal Credit award notice (paper award notice or screenshot of last month's online statement). 
  • The letter showing the breakdown of income support payment.
  • The letter showing the breakdown of jobseekers allowance or Employment Support Allowance.
  • Your complete TC602 Inland Revenue tax credit award notice for the current tax year.
  • Your Pension Credit M1000 award notice.
  • NASS support notice or IS96 document. You must include your NASS reference number, Port reference number and the name of authority providing support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum act 1999.

Contact your local area education office for more details.

Pupil premium

The pupil premium provides extra funding to raise the achievement of some pupils. It is worth over £1000 per pupil for the school your child attends. Schools can also claim pupil premium funding for previously looked after children.

The GOV.UK website has information about how much pupil premium funding schools receive, how they should spend it and how they are held to account. 

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