Free school meals

Free school meals in Sunderland

Please note that the electronic checking system is not available at the moment due to circumstances beyond our control.  Applications via the Family Portal will currently not be able to be processed.  This issue is being investigated and it is hoped that it will be rectified as soon as possible. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

If you are a parent in receipt of any of the benefits listed below then your child is likely to be eligible for free school meals. It's quick and simple to apply online on our Family Portal.

Please apply if you get any of the qualifying benefits. Your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.

If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, please contact one of the team on 0191 561 1417.

You can also email us on freeschoolmeals@togetherforchildren.org.uk

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • 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)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit -  your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

These groups are:

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

These groups are also subject to a maximum household earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum.

We are also temporarily extending eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This group is not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold

If your child is eligible for and getting free school meals at any time before 31 March 2022, they’ll remain eligible until this date.

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • attending a school nursery
  • in full-time education

For guidance on how to apply online through our Family Portal see our guidelines below.

A copy of our Privacy Notice for the Family Portal is available as a download from this page.

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Free school meals - application guide

How to apply online for free school meals

Family Portal Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice for Family Portal users, gives details of how we hold and use your personal information.

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