Apply for free school meals

What you need to apply

To complete the online application you'll be asked to create an account with us (or sign in if you've already set this up). You'll then be able to complete the form, and as part of this you'll need to enter your national insurance (NI) number, or, if you're an asylum seeker, your National Asylum Seeker Service (NASS) number.

The qualifying benefits for free school meals are:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of pension credit
  • Child tax credit (provided you’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working tax credit run-on - paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit. Proof of this will be required
  • Universal credit - provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods

If your child has transferred schools within the Shropshire Council local authority area and is in receipt of benefits-related free school meals, you don’t need to reapply – the entitlement automatically transfers to the new school.

For children who have transferred to a Shropshire Council local authority school from an out-of-area school within England, and are in receipt of government (benefits-related) free school meals, please contact us regarding your free school meals claim.

What happens next?

  • Your eligibility for government (benefits-related) free school meals will be checked online
  • We'll email you with details of the result. The school that your child/ren attend will have the ability to view the result of your application
  • If you qualify for government free school meals a letter will be sent to you to confirm the award
  • Entitlement to free school meals can't be backdated
  • If free schools meals entitlement is awarded, please notify us of any changes to your home address
  • Please notify us or your child’s school if your support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or the guarantee element of Pension Credit has ended or if you no longer qualify for free school meals under the criteria for families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).