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Free school meals

Free School Meals (FSM)

Your child might 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 – provided you have an annual net income of no more that £7,400 as assessed by earnings from up to 3 of the most recent assessment periods (not including any benefits you get)

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they will also qualify for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme. Food vouchers may also be available through Food Vouchers | Food Vouchers | Stoke-on-Trent. For information about other support, visit the Household Support Fund.

If you receive any of the qualifying benefits listed above, or if you want to check eligibility as a family with no recourse to public funds, please complete our FSM Eligibility Checker below. Children confirmed as eligible for FSM will help their school to receive extra funding.

You can check your eligibility online here using the button below:

Eligibility Checker

Infant free school meals in England

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:

  • reception
  • year 1
  • year 2

If this applies to you, please complete our FSM Eligibility Checker above to confirm you receive any of the qualifying benefits listed above. This will really help your child’s school as they can get extra funding if you do. 

If you need any free school meals help or advice, you can email

More information about entitlement to free school meals is available here.

Information about schools