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As from September 2014 the government will be offering free school meals to all Key Stage 1 children. 


Help your school and help yourself by claiming free school meals


Figures show parents in the borough who are eligible to claim for free school meals for their children are not claiming their entitlement. Taking up free school meals has benefits for everyone:


  • Children can benefit from a healthy free nutritious meal.
  • Schools can benefit directly by receiving money from the government. The government pays schools £430 for every child who registers for free school meals. Your school could benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds.
  • Families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year by claiming free school meals.
  • It's anonymous for young people - thanks to the Street Base and Splash cards claiming free school meals is anonymous - cards are swiped in the same way as a paid for meal so nobody knows that it's a free school meal.
  • It's anonymous for parents - because so much of the application process can be done online, a persons' entitlement is mostly processed electronically.

How to apply for free school meals 

Are you on a low income or receiving any of these benefits?


If you are on a low income or receive Child Benefit and any of the following benefits, you could claim free school meals for your child.

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers' Allowance
  • Child Tax credit
  • Pension Credit (guaranteed credit)
  • Employment and Support Allowance   

Who may qualify for free school meals?

  • Children of parents whose only or main income is one of the benefits listed over the page.
  • Children of parents whose combined income from work is £16,190 or less a year.
  • Children of asylum seekers.
  • Children who live outside Barking and Dagenham but who meet the previous criteria and are attending a school in the borough.

Who is unlikely to qualify for free school meals?

  • Children of parents whose combined income from work is more than £16,190 a year.
  • Children of parents who receive Working Tax Credit.
  • Children who live in Barking and Dagenham but attend a school outside the borough (you would need to claim from the local authority the school is in).

It's easy to apply for free school meals.

Follow the link below now and complete and submit the online application form. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number to hand.

All schools have been asked to treat the application and award of free school meals sensitively.