Free School Meals

If you think your child may qualify for Free School Meals, please read the following information so that you can begin to start the claim process.

Why should I claim for Free School Meals?

It is really important, that if you feel you may be entitled to claim for Free School Meals, that you do so. This is because there is additional government funding awarded to the school, called the Pupil Premium, which is awarded to schools according to the number of children in receipt of Free School Meals. This means that claiming for Free School Meals could also help your child receive other benefits at school. Therefore, if you do feel you are entitled to claim, it is very much in your, your child and the school’s interest that you do make this claim. You can even claim and then not take the school hot dinner if your child does not like it; or, your child can just have the school dinners on the days they wish to.

What are the eligibility criteria to claim for Free School Meals?

The current criteria for claiming free school meals are that you must be in receipt of one or more of the following;

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based)
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the annual taxable income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue is not in excess of £16,190. (Families who also receive an award of Working Tax Credit do not qualify to claim for free school meals.
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Children who receive Income Support (IS) or Income Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals

In addition, there is also a temporary qualification for free school meals.

From 1st May 2009, where a parent has been entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, they will be eligible to claim free school meals over that period.

How do I claim for Free School Meals?

To make a claim for Free School Meals, download and complete the form below or call in to the school office, who will be able to provide you with a copy of the form.

Free School Meals Application Form

Once completed, please return the form to:

School Food Support Service
Room 400
County Hall

Tel: 0116 305 6588

Do I have to apply every year?

You only need to apply for free school meals once, your eligibility will then be checked on a 4 weekly basis via the central benefit records database. If after this check of eligibility it is found that you are no longer eligible, the School Food Support Service will write to you requesting to see proof of the benefits you are receiving.

Further Information

If you would like any further information about Free School Meals, please download the leaflet below, or call in to the school office and we will be able to assist you.

Free School Meal Vouchers

While the school remains closed, we are working with families of Pupil Premium students to provide Free School Meals (FSM) vouchers while the children remain at home. For each child that is entitled to free school meals, a voucher to the value of £3 per day (£15 per week) is issued for every day that the child is not at school. The table below shows you dates that vouchers have been sent so far, since the end of March.

Date:26th March30th March14th April20th April
Expiry:26.03.202326.03.202314th May 202014th May 202020th May 202020th May 2020
  1. What value voucher will I receive?
    • Each voucher is to the value of £3 per day per child (£15 per week) for every day that a child is not in school.
  1. Where can I spend my vouchers?
    • Giftpay vouchers can be spent at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose.
    • EdenRed vouchers can be spent at Morrisons, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose.
  1. My friend has received their voucher but I haven’t had mine yet!
    • Over 200 vouchers are sent at once, the systems that process the vouchers do not always work straight away. Please allow two days to pass from the issue date before reporting that your vouchers have not been sent to you.
  1. I waited two days and I still haven’t received an email.
    • Please contact the office to verify your contact details.
  1. I tried to spend my voucher but it has expired!
    • The ‘Giftpay’ vouchers have an expiry date that last for 3 years. The EdenRed vouchers have an expiry that lasts for 1 month. After this time the eCode is cancelled and the money associated is then returned to the Department for Education.
    • Please check that you are using the correct voucher when it comes to spending – in every case that we have been told that a voucher has expired, a voucher that has been used already has been the reason for the payment being rejected.
  1. I can’t log into the EdenRed system, it keeps showing that the website is loading.
    • The system is third party owned and is under a great deal of pressure for access to parents on a national scale. Staff are also experiencing issues logging on to the system but find that it is faster to load either first thing in the morning or during the hours of the evening.
  1. Who can I contact for help with my vouchers?
    • Giftpay can be contacted directly at or telephone: 0203 608 7980. EdenRed cannot be contacted directly – please refer to the school office if the above FAQs have not helped.

We hope that this information is useful to you, this will also be shared and updated with any future information on the school website under links for FSM vouchers.