Apply for free school meals
Who can get free school meals?
Free school meals are available for children who are attending a school, regardless of whether they live in Luton or not, whose parent/guardian is receiving a qualifying benefit. Only children attending school for at least one session before and one session after lunch can receive free school meals. If your child lives in Luton, but is attending a school outside of Luton, they should apply for free school meals to the local authority in which that school is based.
Your child will be entitled to free school meals if you or your partner receives any of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (and you are not getting Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income less than £16,190 shown on the TC602(a)Tax Credit letter
- Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ (the payment you may receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
When we receive your application form we will check to see if you should get free school meals by looking at the main government database. If you are not sure, it’s best to apply anyhow so you get help if you need it. When you apply for Housing and Council Tax Benefit we will treat it as a claim for Free School Meals as well, unless you tell us not to.
For more information please download our easy guide Can I get free school meals? at the bottom of the page.
If you continue to attend a school after you reach the age of 16 and go into the school’s sixth form, you will still be able to have school meals (provided you are still eligible).
If you leave school and go to a college or, in some cases, an independent training provider, then there are other funds which you may be able to access. The Government has a scheme called the 16-19 Bursary Fund that is intended to support young people to stay in education. There are certain groups of young people who will be entitled to the full £1,200 bursary per year.
- Young people in care
- care leavers
- young people in receipt of income support
- disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
Colleges use their discretion to make awards to other young people in ways that best fit the needs and circumstances of their students. Bursary awards will be targeted towards young people facing financial barriers to stay on in education. You need to discuss this with the college you are going to attend as they hold the Bursary and they will be able to advise you if you are eligible for help. It is likely that if you received free school meals at school you will be able to get money from this fund. You can use this money for meals, but you may receive sufficient to cover costs of transport, books and equipment.
If you want more information download the Questions about free school meals form at the bottom of the page or call us on the number below.