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Free School Meals Information

School food and free school meals

If you’re on benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals no matter what year they are in.

You are entitled to free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual income of less than £16,190, provided they are not receiving Working Tax Credit
  • the ‘Guaranteed’ element of the State Pension Credit
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • 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)
  • if your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll continue to receive them until they move to a new stage of school, such as from primary into secondary school

Please note: People receiving Working Tax Credit, regardless of their income level, do not qualify.

To claim please speak to your child's school. Further information can be found on our How to claim free school meals page.

To find out if you are eligible, ask at the school office or call Leeds Welfare and Benefits Service on 0113 222 4404.

Year 10 pupils in Leeds have recorded a series of videos on free school meals which are available to view on YouTube.

Universal infant free school meals

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England receive free school meals. Please see the frequently asked questions section for more information. Further information is available below, or on the school food plan website. You don’t need to apply for infant free school meals and most schools will encourage all pupils to take up this offer.

If you’re on benefits and your child is entitled to universal infant free school meals anyway, it’s still important to register for a free school meal to ensure your child’s school doesn’t miss out on funding called pupil premium.

We’re working hard to make sure our school lunches are tasty and healthy, as well as making lunchtimes comfortable and fun for everyone.

Paid school meals

For pupils in year 3 up to, and including, year 12 (while still in full time school education), who aren’t eligible for a free school meal, there is an option to pay for a school meal. 

The cost of a school meal can vary in different schools and each school will set their own price. This can range from £1.60-£2.40 (purchasing individual items can cost more in secondary schools). 

Schools should provide information on their websites or you can contact the school directly to find out the cost and preferred payment method.

Packed lunches

Most schools provide the option for pupils to bring in their lunch from home to consume on school site. We work with schools and encourages them to develop their own packed lunch guidance or polices to ensure all meals are healthy, nutritious and balanced. 

School polices should be mindful of special diets, allergies or intolerances and consider affordable and cultural foods.


To claim free school meals

If you live in Leeds and you already receive Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support: Contact us if you want to claim a free school meal for your child and we will notify your child’s school if you are entitled. Alternatively, you could enquire at your child’s school.

If you live in Leeds and you do not already receive Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you will need to complete our online form.

If you only want to claim for free school meals and your child attends a school in Leeds Use the free school meals claim form (Word 0.3MB) . When completing the form, only list those children who attend school within Leeds.

Where do I send my form?

You can hand your signed and completed form in at any One Stop Centre or Community Hub, or post it to:

Welfare and Benefits (FSM Claims)
Leeds City Council
Selectapost 15

You can also contact Leeds Welfare and Benefits Service on 0113 222 4404.