Free school meals

How to claim

You can now apply online using the link below. Please read the whole page before applying.

Please email the Free School Meals Team at if you require a paper copy of the application form.

You do not need to send evidence of your qualifying benefit(s) with your application form. If we need evidence at a later date, we will contact you.

There are two free school meals schemes:

Scheme one - Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)

All children attending a state funded infant or primary school in reception class, year 1 or year 2 can get a free school meal regardless of income.

There is no need for you to complete an application form for children in reception class, year 1 or year 2 unless you receive a qualifying benefit.

If you receive a qualifying benefit (listed below) we would urge you to make a formal application. This will allow your child’s school to claim additional funding called Pupil Premium.

Moving into year 3

Once your child moves into year 3, their entitlement to UIFSM stops. If you want your child to continue getting a school meal, you will either have to pay or claim for an income-related free school meal.

Scheme two - Income-Related Free School Meals

Provided your child is attending a state funded school or academy full-time in the Wakefield District they will qualify for income-related free school meals if you receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit - if you have a yearly household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) and you do not get Working Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit, provided you have an annual earned income of no more than £7400

Please be aware that the following benefits do not qualify for Income Related Free School Meals:

  • Contributions based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Contributions based Employment & Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Invalidity Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Child Benefit

Moving into post-16 education

Post-16 students can receive free school meals if they attend a sixth form school or academy within the Wakefield District. This does not however apply to students who attend local Colleges. You should contact the Colleges directly for help.

If you are over 18 and still attend school, you can claim for free school meals if you receive the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Your parent/carer receives one of the benefits listed above for Income Related Free School Meals

How long will it take to process the claim?

We aim to process applications within 5-10 working days.

Once we have determined the outcome of the application, we will contact the school (normally by phone) and you will be sent a letter.

Schools will ensure this information is treated in the strictest confidence and handled sensitively.

Change of circumstances

You no longer have to reapply once you have submitted your application form as we are able to carry out an audit check from time to time on your eligibility status.

If your child receives free school meals whilst they are not entitled your child’s school/academy may ask you to pay for meals provided.

Backdating your child’s entitlement

Free school meals normally start from the day we receive your application form (provided you are eligible). Applications are not backdated unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Other benefits

If your child is entitled to receive income related free school meals, you may also receive help towards residential trips, school visits, or music lessons. You should contact your child’s school for help towards these costs.

School milk scheme

On the 1 January 2015, The School Food Plan introduced new legislation on milk. From that date it is mandatory for all Primary Schools in England to offer lower fat milk during school hours to all children who want it. School milk is free for all under 5’s and is subsidised for pupils aged 5 or older.

Children who are registered for an income related free school meal (not universal infant free school meal) are entitled to free milk. If you think your child qualifies, please check with your child’s school.

The School Milk Scheme is dealt with by individual schools, so if you have any queries please contact your child’s school.

Contact Us

Free School Meals Wakefield Council Wakefield One PO Box 700 Burton Street Wakefield WF1 2EB

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