1 Is my child eligible?
From 1 April 2018, free school meals in all West Sussex maintained and free schools and academies are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
- 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 state Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
A number of pupils will also be protected against losing their current free school meals. You can find more information on GOV.UK.
If you are not eligible for benefits-related, free school meals, but your child is currently in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, they will automatically be entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals and you need not apply. Contact your school for details.
If you are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in accordance with the above criteria, and your child is also receiving Universal Infant Free School Meals, it is important that you continue to register. This will enable your child's school to claim valuable 'pupil premium' funding, which is additional grant the school can invest in, providing extra support for your child in school.
See GOV.UK for eligibility guidelines for meals for students aged over 16, and speak to their establishment if you are interested in finding out more.
2 How to apply
If you are in receipt of any of the benefits specified on Is my child eligible?, you can apply online.Apply online for free school meals (external link)
You can also apply by downloading and completing the application form below, returning it by email or post (instructions on form).
Once your application has been successfully processed we will send you a confirmation.
3 If your circumstances change
If your circumstances have changed contact us as you may need to make a new application. For example:
- your child changes school to a school that is not within West Sussex, in which case you should contact the new local authority and inform West Sussex.
Note: you do not need to re-apply when your child is moving from primary to secondary school or changing schools, if the new school is within West Sussex.