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Free School Meals


There are two free school meals schemes:

Who is entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals?

All children attending a state funded infant school in reception class (UFS), Year 1 or Year 2 are automatically entitled to a free school meal regardless of income.

There is no need for you to complete an application form for children in reception class, year 1 or year 2 unless you receive a qualifying benefit.

If you receive a qualifying benefit (listed below) we would urge you to make a formal application as this will allow your child’s school to claim additional funding which will support them in areas of the curriculum (pupil premium).

What happens when my child enters Key Stage 2?

Once your child moves into year 3 they will automatically lose their entitlement to UIFSM. If you want your child to continue to receive a school meal, they will either have to pay or claim for an income-related free school meal.

Income-Related Free School Meals

Provided your child is attending a state funded school or academy full-time in the Wakefield District they will qualify for income-related free school meals if you receive:-

  • Income Support

  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income related Employment Support Allowance

  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit - as long as you have a yearly household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) and you do not get Working Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working tax Credit)

  • Universal Credit

Please be aware that the following benefits do not qualify for Income Related Free School Meals: Contributions based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Contributions based Employment & Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Invalidity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Child Benefit.

Pupil Premium

Schools will receive additional funding from the government for each child registered for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years.

Schools can choose how to spend their pupil premium money. 

What happens if my circumstances change?

You no longer have to reapply once you have submitted your application form as we are able to carry out an audit check from time to time on your eligibility status.


However, as soon as your circumstances change, for example, if you start to receive Working Tax Credits or you stop receiving any of the qualifying benefits you must notify us by phone immediately on 01924 305 061. We will then inform your child(ren)’s school.

If your child receives free school meals whilst they are not entitled your child’s school/academy may ask you to pay for meals provided.

We are not informed automatically if your circumstances change so it is your responsibility to notify Free School Meals on 01924 305 061 of any changes.

Backdating your child’s entitlement

Free school meals normally start from the day we receive your application form (provided you are eligible). Applications are not backdated unless there are exceptional circumstances.

How can I apply for FSM?

You can contact the Free School Meals team at Wakefield Council by e-mail on

You can now apply online using the digital form button above. Please read the whole page before applying. Alternatively you can complete the Word version of the form. You do not need to send evidence of your qualifying benefit(s) with your application form. If the FSM team need evidence at a later date, they will contact you.

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