Universal and Free School Meals


Universal School Meals

From September 2014 every Child in Year Reception to Year 2 is entitled to a free school meal under the Universal Free School Meal Scheme.


Free School Meals

Registering for Free School Meals could raise an extra £1,652 for school to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities.

Free school meals are offered to children of families who are on low income in receipt of Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income based) or Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit. They are also offered to children of families who are in receipt of Child Tax Credit only, but who are not entitled to Working Tax Credit, and whose annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190.00. If you are in receipt of Child Tax Credit, you will need to attend one of the Council's Customer Service Centre’s and present your Child Tax Credit award notice.

How do I apply for free school meals?

There are 4 easy ways to apply for free school meals:

  • complete the e-claim for Housing and Council Tax Support which includes the option to apply for Free School Meals
  • complete the on-line application form*
  • telephone the council's call centre on 0161 342 8355
  • in person at one of the council's Customer Services Offices

Free School Meals can be claimed by Parents or Guardians of pupil’s who are on a low income. All claims will be processed by the Benefits Section at Tameside Council with the target date of 3 days.

Eligible income includes Universal Credit, Income Support, JSA(IB), Guaranteed Credit, ESA(IR), Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) provided the Household income does not exceed £16,190 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs.