Free school meals and clothing grant
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Free School Meals voucher scheme for kids staying at home
A national voucher scheme has been introduced by the government that will allow children eligible for free school meals to still access that provision while they stay at home - more information on our COVID-19 pages.
If you did not previously qualify for free school meals but your income has reduced or stopped due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may qualify based on your new financial circumstances.
If you qualify for free school meals for your child their school will assist you in providing food for your child. This will apply even if your child is not currently attending school due to closures.
If you believe you now meet the qualifying criteria you should apply straight away.
If your child previously received universal infant free school meals but you did not qualify for benefits-related free school meals your child's school will not be able to assist you.
- Schools dealing with their own free school meals
- Who can get free school meals?
- Changes to the rules and protected free school meals entitlement
- Free school meals for infants and older children
- Clothing grant
- How to apply
- Important notes and further information
- Contact details
Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the following:
- Universal Credit providing you have net earnings of less than £7,400 a year (£616.67 a month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Guarantee Credit element of State Pension Credit
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Child Tax Credit (providing you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC)
- From 1 April 2018 free school meals regulations include a net earnings threshold of £7,400.00 for UC claimants
- Any pupil eligible for free schools meals up to and including the 31 March 2018 will keep their free school meal eligibility until 31 March 2022 even if their financial circumstances change
- Any pupil who becomes eligible from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022 will keep their eligibility until 31 March 2022 (this is known as the UC rollout period)
- Once the rollout of UC is completed any pupil losing free school meal entitlement is protected until the end of their current phase of primary or secondary education
- Pupils keep their eligibility between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2022 even if the applicant's financial circumstances change
- Protection applies to the child getting free school meals - not the family. If a sibling is not entitled to free school meals based on the eligibility criteria, protection does not apply (this is also the case where a child moves to live with another parent or family member)
If your child goes to school outside of Haringey, you should apply to the borough the school is in.
Free school meals for infants
Children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 who attend a state-funded school are entitled to free school meals (whether their families get qualifying benefits or not) but you should still make an application because if you meet the eligibility criteria the school qualifies for additional Government funding.
It may also mean your child’s free school meals can continue under the protection rules once they reach Year 3.
Free school meals for older children
Children aged 16-18 who attend a further education funded institution (for example schools with a sixth form, academies, free schools etc.) may also apply for free school meals.
If you are eligible for free school meals and your child is transferring to secondary school in September 2020, you can also apply for a one-off clothing grant of £60.
The grant must only be used to buy school clothes or shoes for your child (we may ask to see receipts as proof of purchase). The closing date for applications for children entering year 7 in September 2020 is 31 March 2021.
To qualify for a grant you must live in Haringey and your child’s date of birth must be between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009.
You will need to provide proof of your relationship to the child and the child's date of birth. Please also read these important notes before applying.
If you cannot apply online you will need to download, print and complete the Free School Meals and Clothing Grant application form (PDF, 145KB)
If this is your first application you will need to provide proof of your relationship to the child and the child's date of birth. Please also read these important notes before applying.
Returning your form
If your child's school is on the list of self-administering schools send the form to the school. If the form includes a request for a clothing grant you can either:
- tell the school to email a copy of the form to firstname.lastname@example.org or
- make a separate clothing grant application to us
For all other schools return your completed form to your nearest Customer Service Centre who will process your application while you wait or you can post it to:
- Corporate and Customer Services | Benefits
PO Box 10505
We need you to provide proof of your relationship to the child and the child's date of birth, for example:
- a Child Benefit letter showing your name, the child's name and the child's date of birth
- a long birth certificate showing your name, the child's name and the child's date of birth
- You must normally reapply for free school meals every year but will not need to do so until the protection period ends on 31 March 2022. We will write to you and ask you to reapply before the protection period ends.
- If your child moves to another school you must tell us immediately.
- If you receive free school meals based on the protection rules a new school may ask you to provide evidence of your entitlement to free school meals from the previous school for free school meals to continue.
- If your child attends a state nursery school and you wish to apply for free school meals you will need to submit a letter from the nursery to confirm they attend before and after lunchtime.
- Children who receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance in their own right can apply for free school meals.
- If you are a foster carer or kinship carer money for school meals has been included in your allowance.
Further information about free school meals is available on GOV.UK (external link).
- Corporate and Customer Services | Benefits
P O Box 10505
- Tel 020 8489 1000
- Email email@example.com - we accept signed and scanned applications by email.