Apply for free school meals

Information on who is eligible to receive free school meals.

All children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 now receive a free meal under the Universal Infant Free School Meal programme. They are also available to children whose parents or guardians receive certain benefits. 

Parents of pupils in these year groups who are also eligible for free school meals because they are on a low income must still apply to their child's school for free school meals. If you do not apply, your child may lose out on additional funding.

Who can use this service

You must have a child attending a Lambeth school, regardless of where they live.

You must also be receiving at least 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
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week.

Children who receive Income Support or income-based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

You need to apply for free schools meals every 12 months.

Universal Credit

During the Universal Credit pathfinder period, which started on 29 April 2013, children of families in receipt of Universal Credit will be entitled to free school meals. When all families are moved to Universal Credit, the criteria will change. This is yet to be determined by the Department for Education.

Please contact your child's school directly to apply for free school meals or for any queries.