Coronavirus: Free school meals

Eligible families will continue to receive their free school meal entitlement while the schools are closed.

Only children whose parents and carers meet the eligibility criteria will receive the free school meal entitlement during this time.  The universal offer is not included with the ongoing arrangements.  

Free school meal criteria

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • National asylum seeker support
  • Child tax credit (provided you’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • The guaranteed element of state pension credit
  • Working tax credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit.
  • Universal credit with annual net earned income of less than £7,400 

Make a free school meal application based upon this criteria

Extension of the free school meal criteria

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the free school meal criteria has been extended to include families that fall into one of the categories.  This entitlement will stop once schools have re-opened.  

  • Zambrano carer
  • Leave to remain in the UK under article 8 of the ECHR
  • Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
  • Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Applicants will need to be have a net income of less than £7,400 per year, with exception to those who fall under Section 4 of Immigraton and Asylum Act.  Documentary evidence and proof of earnings will be required when making an application.  

Make an extended free school meal application

How will i receive the free school meal

Schools can choose how they provide the entitlement and will have contacted all eligible parents to make them aware of the arrangements.   If you are entitled and not aware of the arrangement, contact the school direct. 

The schools may opt for:

Existing catering service

Schools may continue to use their current catering service to prepare lunches on a daily basis.  These lunches are then made available for collection or delivered to the child's home address. 

National voucher scheme

Schools may opt to use the new scheme to order e-vouchers to the value of £15 per week per child.  The vouchers can then be used to buy food and groceries at selected food retailers.

To access your voucher, you will receive an email with a 16 digit code that you will need to copy and redeem online with Edenred portal - free school meals.  You may be added to an online queue system at busy times. 

Once you have entered your code onto the portal, you will see your voucher balance and the supermarkets that you can choose to spend the vouchers with.  The supermarkets are:

  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Asda
  • Waitrose (John Lewis)
  • M&S food
  • Aldi (from 27 April)

You can then allocate the amount you wish to spend at the store.  This will then be converted to an e-card that can be used on your mobile device or printed off.

Spinney Hill Primary School have kindly shared a number of userguides that can support parents and carers to access the system and claim their vouchers (attached).   Endred also have frequently asked questions to explain the national voucher scheme further.