Watlington Primary School

Watlington Primary School

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Free School Meals

Free School Meals Eligibility

There are currently two separate schemes operated by the government which relate to a child’s entitlement to free school meals. These are:


1.  Universal Infant Free School Meals

The universal infant free school meals policy, launched by the government in September 2014, entitles every child in Reception, Year 1, and Year 2 to a free lunch at school every day. From Year 3 onwards meals will need to be paid for at a price of £2.40 per day (unless your child is, or becomes, entitled to free school meals on the financial criteria set out below).


2.  Free School Meals

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. Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • younger than the compulsory age for starting school
  • in full-time education.


If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2025.


Further, if your child is eligible they do not have to have a school meal every day, or at all, but we urge all parents to check their child’s eligibility as it will release much needed funds to our school (at the rate of £1385 per annum, per child). This includes our Reception, Year 1, and Year 2 children even though they are entitled to receive a universal infant free school meal each day (as outlined in 1 above) as it still brings in additional funding to our school.


If you think your child, or children, may be entitled to free school meals please complete the form below and return it to the school office. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.


If you have any queries or require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Jo Arnold in our school office, or via email at



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