Free school meals, pupil premium and early years pupil premium (EYPP)

  • Free school meals - Save your household up to £418 a year per child
  • Pupil premium – Get £1300 for your child’s school to improve education
  • Early years pupil premium (EYPP) – over £300 for your child’s early years and childcare provider to improve provision

Can my child get free school meals, pupil premium or EYPP?

Nursery (pre-school)

If your child is aged 3 or 4 years old and is attending a maintained nursery class or nursery school all day and you or your partner are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits your child could be eligible for free school meals.

EYPP is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for 3 and 4 year olds whose parents are in receipt of qualifying benefits and look after or previously been looked after children.

Infants - Reception, Years 1 and 2

All children get free school meals if they are in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

If you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits you can apply for pupil premium to get extra money for your child’s school.

Older Children - Year 3 to Year 11

Your child is eligible for free school meals if you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits.

When making your application you are also applying for the pupil premium for your child’s school.

Students in Further Education

If your child is aged between 16 and 18 on 31 August 2014 and is attending a further education funded institution you will be entitled to claim free meals if you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits.

Students who turn 19 during their studies will remain eligible for a free meal until the end of the academic year in which they turn 19 or to the end of their study programme, whichever is sooner.

There is no pupil premium for further education.

What are the qualifying benefits?

You will be entitled to apply for free school meals and/or pupil premium for your child if you or your partner receive one or more of the following benefits: 

  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit 
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • 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 the Inland Revenue) 
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit) 
  • Universal Credit.

Apply for free school meals, pupil premium and EYPP

When you apply you will get an instant decision on your claim. We will contact the school to confirm your child’s eligibility.

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and you or your partner are in receipt of qualifying benefits you should still complete the application for pupil premium online because your child’s school will receive an extra £1300 per year.

What is the pupil premium?

The pupil premium is extra funding for your child’s education. It is provided by the government and is normally claimed as part of free school meals if you or your partner are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits.

Your child’s school will receive £1300 per pupil for six years to support your child’s education including help with the cost of school trips, teaching assistant staff and after school programs (see individual schools websites).

What happens if my circumstances change?

You must tell us straight away about any change in circumstance affecting your child’s claim for free school meals. We carry out regular reviews across the school year to confirm that your child is still entitled to free school meals.

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