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Free school meals

Do you qualify?

If your child goes to school within the Cheshire West and Chester area, you may be able to claim free school meals. All key stage one pupils will automatically receive them. You need to apply with us if you are receiving one of the benefits listed below as your school can claim additional funding which can help towards equipment and resources.

You will qualify if you are receiving one of the following benefits.

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four 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)

Do you receive Working Tax credit?

If you or a partner receive Working Tax Credit regardless of income you will not qualify for free school meals.

Apply for free school meals

If you have difficulties claiming online, please contact us by email at or call us on 0300 123 7021 to discuss making a telephone or paper application.

If I qualify, when will my child get free school meals?

If you qualify, the majority of claims are dealt with the same day and your entitlement will start the day after. A letter of entitlement will be issued to you and we will notify the school.

What meals will my child get?

You will be given a menu leaflet on the first week of the autumn term. The menus will be listed as week one, two, three and four and will run in this order. Any questions regarding the menu, please contact your child's school.

Do I need to apply each year?

No, your claim will be renewed automatically each year.

Changes to tell us about

  • you start work and come off benefits
  • your benefit changes
  • you change address
  • your child changes school
  • you have another child starting school for the first time
Report a change in circumstances


Why have my child's free school meals ended?

Your free school meals could have ended for various reasons, such as a change in benefits or a change of address. You can email the benefits team to find out why.

Access for School Administrators

You can use our self service facility to check which of your pupils qualify for free school meals.

Access your information online (schools only)

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