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Free school meals

If you have children up to the age of 19 years in full-time education at a Hillingdon, you may claim for free school meals if you receive a qualifying benefit.

School meal

Please note: The "My free school meals" portal which has been used by schools for checking pupils' eligibility for Free School Meals is being discontinued from 1 January 2018. The Local Authority is looking at a number of options for a replacement and will communicate with schools once a suitable alternative has been identified.

Infant free school meals

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they are in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

Year 3 up to 19 years in a school in Hillingdon

Note: All enquiries about free school meals should be directed to your child's school and not to the local authority.

You must be receiving one of the following benefits to claim free school meals:

  • 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 Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income of £16,190 or less, as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

The following benefits do not qualify for claiming free school meals:

  • 'Contribution-based Job Seeker's Allowance'
  • If you (or a partner) are also awarded 'Working Tax Credit'* regardless of your family's income
  • 'Contribution-based Employment' and 'Support Allowance'
  • Incapacity benefit and DLA

Local authorities do not set the qualifying criteria for free school meals and we are unable to waive them. Any change to the criteria is a matter for central, not local government.

If you have a child starting school for the first time, and already receive Free School Meals for other children, you will still need to complete a new application.

Apply online

You can apply online and get an immediate answer. If you are eligible, your child's school will be notified within five working days.

Apply in person at your child's school

You will need to supply the following details so that the school can assess your application:

  • Your National Insurance Number / NASS number (can be found on your benefit letters)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your surname
  • Your full address
  • Your child(ren)'s details

If you have any questions about applying for free school meals, please contact your child's school.

Renewing a claim for free school meals

Your free school meals provider will contact you to confirm entitlement has started. Your child will continue to receive free school meals for as long as your eligibility can be confirmed. 

Please be aware that we are unable to backdate claims for free school meals to cover unpaid dinner money, or to refund dinner money paid prior to the date of a successful application.

Changes to your benefit entitlement

Please contact the school immediately if your benefit changes or ends, as it may mean that you no longer qualify to claim free school meals. If it is found that you did not notify us that you were no longer entitled to claim free school meals, you will be invoiced for the cost of all school meals taken free to which your child(ren) were not entitled.

Other help

  • Benefit Helpline: 0345 300 3900 Mon-Fri: 8am to 8pm and Sat 8am to 4pm
  • JobCentre Plus: 0800 0556688 Mon-Fri: 8am to 8pm

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 18 Oct 2017 at 15:53