Free School Meals – How to Apply

The impact of the introduction of Universal Credit has changed the way that Free School Meals are administered nationally.

Tameside Schools now have access to a national database to carry out eligibility checks on behalf of parents, who either currently qualify for Free School Meals or feel they may be entitled to Free School Meals.

Please be aware that the school are not able to make decisions on eligibility, this can only be done via the database using information provided by the parent.

Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below.

  • Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400(£616.67 per month)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

How do I apply for free school meals?

Free School Meals can be claimed by Parents or Guardians of pupil’s who are on a low income. Please apply online via the link below;

FSM Online Application Link

If you are currently eligible for Free School Meals, you still need to complete an application to ensure this continues the new system.

I think I qualify for a Free School Meals, but my child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and receives a free meal under the UIFSM initiative?

Please still complete an application.

Eligible children not only receive a free school meal, but the school can claim additional government funding to support the children called Pupil Premium. Details of how Pupil Premium funding is used at St Raphael’s are published on the school website.

I don’t currently claim free school meals – what does this mean for me?

If you think you might be eligible for free school meals, you can submit a claim by following the link to the Application Form –

The Information you provide will be used to check if you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and, if you are on Universal Credit, that your earnings do not exceed the threshold. If you claim Universal Credit, your earnings will be assessed from up to three of your last Universal Credit assessment periods.