Free School Meals

application form for free school meals 2012-13

Please read this information to see if your child/ren is/are entitled to free school meals for 2012-13 – if so – please print off the application form above and send to NCC.

Free school meals
Is my child entitled to free school meals?
Children of families receiving income support, employment support allowance (income related) or income-based job seekers allowance are entitled to receive free school meals.

Families receiving child tax credit but who are not entitled to a working tax credit, and whose annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190 are also entitled, as are those who receive the guarantee element of state pension credit. Those families receiving working tax credit are not entitled to free school meals.

Note: Where a parent is entitled to working tax credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school meals.

If you are receiving one of these benefits either contact the Headteacher of your child’s school to obtain an application form or call 0344 800 8020 for further advice.

You can also print a copy of the free school meals application form here.

Once entitlement has been assessed children can continue to receive free school meals until the family stops receiving a qualifying benefit. Parents are required to inform the authority of any changes and regular checks will be carried out against records held by the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and HM Revenue & Customs by the free school meals team.

What exactly is meant by a family’s annual income when considering the criteria for free school meals and Child Tax Credit?

For the purposes of claiming free school lunches, ’annual income’ is defined in education legislation as being ’income for the tax year calculated in accordance with the Tax Credits’ (Definition and calculation of Income) Regulations 2002. This is the calculation that the Inland Revenue perform as part of the process used to assess a family’s entitlement to tax credits.

Does my child’s entitlement to free school meals continue if my child transfers to another Norfolk school?
The entitlement to free school meals continues for children transferring between one school and another subject to parents/carers continuing to receive one of the qualifying benefits. Records are updated using data held by the School Admissions Team.

Parents of children transferring to schools outside of the county should apply to the local authority where the school is situated.

Additional information and guidance can be obtained by email to

(last updated by DL – February 2013 )