Length of free school meal entitlement
Universal free school meals
Universal free school meal entitlement will continue while your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2.
Government free school meals
You'll need to apply for government free school meals prior to your child starting year 3. You're entitled to claim for free school meals for the period covered by your benefit entitlement. When applying for free school meals, we'll check your eligibility online and if confirmed, free meals will be awarded immediately, and a letter will be sent to you confirming this.
Your free school meal qualifying benefit will be checked on a monthly basis, and as long as the online system confirms your eligibility, your free meals will continue. However, if your details aren't confirmed by the online free school meal checking system, we'll write to you requesting a copy of your benefit letter or HM Revenue and Customs award notice. Please note that if your benefit entitlement stops, you must let us know immediately.