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Free School Meals

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Infant School Meals from September 2014

From September 2014, there will be a statutory requirement for schools in England to provide school meals to all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.  We are referring to these as the Infant School Meals as they are different to free school meals.

Whilst all pupils in these year groups will be provided with a daily infant school meal, it is important that, if you think you are eligible to receive a free school meal, you continue to apply to Cheshire West and Chester Council. 

This is especially important as the extra funding we receive, called Pupil Premium, is dictated by the number of Free School Meal registrations we have!  This money is important to us to protect the smaller classes, extra teachers and interventions we give your children which mean they progress quicker in our school!

Existing entitlements to free school meals for disadvantaged pupils in nursery classes and at Key Stages 2-4 will continue as they do now, based on the existing free school meals eligibility criteria as set out in the information from Cheshire West and Chester.


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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 online – click here (Apply for Free School Meals) to complete the online application form.

  • By telephone – call us on 0300 123 7021.  Make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand.You can also pick up an application form from 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


For information and advice from the Free School Meals Service telephone us on 0300 123 7021 or email us at Benefits@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

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