Free school meals

Free school meals in Sunderland

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 via our Family Portal - you'll find guidance around this in the downloads section below.

Please apply if you get any of the qualifying benefits - your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.  Free school meals are only available to school aged children (Reception onwards).  Applications can be made once a child is attending or has a confirmed school place. 

Please only submit applications for children who do not currently have authorised claims. 

If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, please contact us on 0191 561 1417 or freeschoolmeals@togetherforchildren.org.uk.

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you receive 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)

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.

During the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic 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.

Downloads