Length of free school meal entitlement

Universal free school meals

Universal free school meal entitlement will continue while your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2.

Government free school meals

  • Since 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants have continued to receive free school meals whilst universal credit is rolled out. This applies even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time.
  • In addition, any pupil gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 (who qualified under the benefits/low-earnings criteria) will be protected against losing free school meals until March 2025.
  • After March 2025, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of universal credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (ie primary or secondary).