Accessing Free School Meals

How much could you save?

You can save up to £12.50 a week or approx £485 a year, if your child qualifies for free school meals.


Free School Meal slight change in the eligibility rules (highlighted in red)

The GOV.UK website explains that a child may be eligible for free school meals (FSM) if their parents are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the parents are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax credit
  • Universal Credit – for those applying on or after 1 April 2018, their household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits they get)

Children may also get FSM if they receive any of these benefits directly, instead of through a parent. If you think that you are eligible for Free School Meals, please contact Hackney Learning Trust on 020 8820 7000.

Asylum seekers

To qualify for free school meals, asylum seekers must provide their:

  • IND letter;
  • IND card;
  • Social services letter; or
  • NASS letter.

A child over 16 getting any of these benefits is also eligible to receive free school meals.

How to apply

If your child goes to school in Hackney, you must apply through Hackney Learning Trust. You only have to apply once. They will check your entitlement against information held by the Department for Education on a regular basis so that you don’t have to renew your application every year or provide proof of your entitlement.