Free School Meals
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5th December 2014 | Mr Waddington

You may be entitled to free school meals for your child if you are in receipt of one of the following;


  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual income that does not exceed £16,190 and you are not claiming Working Tax Credit
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999


Claims for free school meals should be made by the person who is responsible for the child. Normally this means that the child lives with you and you receive child benefit for them. You only need to make one claim per household even if your children go to different schools.


If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, it’s worth registering them even if they’re not going to have the school lunch. This is because schools receive a ‘pupil premium’ payment (up to £1,300) for each eligible child which they can spend on resources which will benefit your child’s education.


The easiest way to make a claim is by phone on 0161 253 5858. We are open Monday to Friday 8:45am to 5:00pm


We will check the information you give us with what we already hold. In most cases we will be able to deal with your claim whilst you are on the phone, and we will send an e-mail to your child’s school straightaway.


You may also be entitled to free school meals if your child is attending a Bury Council maintained nursery and is receiving education before and after lunch. Please contact us on 0161 253 5858 and we will confirm if you are entitled and process your claim over the phone.


Universal Infant Free School Meals were introduced in September 2014 and saw all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 entitled to a free meal at lunchtime. If you receive one of the qualifying benefits, you should still register your child for free school meals, even if they are in the age group which qualifies for the new universal scheme. This is because schools receive a ‘pupil premium’ payment for each eligible child as mentioned above.


If you live outside Bury Council please contact the council where you live to claim free school meals.


If you have any further enquiries:

  • please see our website at; or
  • telephone us on 0161 253 5858; or
  • e-mail us at
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