Free school meals

There are two types of Free School Meals – Universal Infant Free School Meals and Income Related Free School Meals:

Universal Free School Meals

For pupils who attend reception, year 1 or year 2 they are eligible to receive Free School Meals regardless of their parent’s income.  You do not need to apply for these Free School Meals, however, if you are on a qualifying benefit we urge you to make a formal application for Free School Meals  as this can benefit your child’s school as they can claim additional funding (Pupil Premium). 

Income Related Free School Meals

As a Sefton resident, you are eligible for free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax  Credit ONLY (not entitled/receiving Working Tax Credit) and have an income of less that £16190.00
  • Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit and have a net household income of less than £7400 per annum
  • Support under VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act

Parents can apply for free school meals by using the 'Do it online' link on the right hand side of this page. 

The PDF application form below is available for schools to print off as and when required.

As from the 1 April 2018 a Universal Credit wage threshold for people in receipt of Universal Credit is being introduced, any new applicants from 1 April 2018 who are working and have a net income of less than £7400.00 per annum will be eligible for Free School Meals. If your child was eligible before 1 April 2018 they will stay eligible until March 2022 regardless of any change in your circumstances.

If your child is eligible for Free School Meals after 1st April 2018 they will remain eligible for Free School Meals until March 2022 regardless of any change to your circumstances.

After March 2022, these protections will last until the end of child’s phased education e.g. if your child is in year 2 they will receive Free School Meals until they finish Primary School, if you have a child in year 8 they will receive Free School Meals until they finish Secondary School.

Free School Meal protection applies to an individual child, NOT to the whole family.  If you have any younger children they must meet the criteria for Free School Meals at the time you apply for them.  Please contact us if you have any younger children that you wish to claim Free School Meals for.

If you think you meet any of the above eligibility criteria you can apply for Free School Meals by completing the online application form see 'Do it Online' section above.

If your claim is successful the school will be notified that your child is eligible for Free School Meals.  This information will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

If you are unable to apply online please contact the School Admissions and Pupil Support team by email: or telephone 0151 934 3263 or  complete and return the Free School Meals Application Form found in the downloads section below.

Please let us know if you have moved address or your child moves school.  As from 1 April 2018 if your financial circumstances change and your child is in receipt of Free School Meals they will remain eligible until March 2022. From March 2022 your child will remain eligible until the end of their phased education, please refer to the examples in Section 1. 


Telephone: 0151 934 3263

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