Free school meals

Universal free school meals

If your child is in year 2 or below they can get free school meals. If you receive certain benefits, your child's school can also get some additional money to support their learning if you register. For more information speak to your child's school or apply online.

Year 3 or above

If your child is under 19 and in full-time education, you may be able to get free school meals for them. The quickest and easiest way to apply for school meals is to apply online.

Your child must attend a maintained school (most schools in Kent are maintained schools) or receive alternative education approved by Kent County Council.

Children attending private or independent schools can't get free school meals.

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • 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)
  • 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 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

If your child is eligible for and getting free school meals at any time before 1 April 2018, they will remain eligible until 31 March 2022.

We may ask for proof of benefit after you apply.

Apply for your child's free school meals online. Your eligibility will be checked and your application processed straight away. If your application is successful the school will be notified by email immediately and your child should start receiving their free school meal within 24 hours.

Apply now

If your circumstances change you need to get in touch with us as you may need to make a new application.

For example:

  • there is a change in the benefits you receive
  • your child changes school during the school year.

You do not need to re-apply when your child is moving from primary to secondary school.

Call us on 03000 41 51 23 between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, if your circumstances have changed.