Who gets free school meals from us, the Benefits Service?
To get free school meals from the Benefits Service:
the child must live in Manchester, even if they go to school in another area, and
- be aged up to 16, or over 16 and attending full-time at a school with a sixth form; or
- attend nursery part-time, providing their session crosses lunchtime (they attend mid-morning to mid-afternoon). It is up to the school to decide whether a nursery child's hours of attendance make them eligible.
The parent must be responsible for that child, for example, receiving Child Benefit for them. The parent must also get:
- Income Support; or
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance; or
- Income-related Employment Support Allowance; or
- the guaranteed part of Pension Credit; or
- Child Tax Credit (CTC) as long as they are not getting an amount for childcare paid with their CTC, or getting Working Tax Credit. Their household income (worked out by HM Revenue & Customs) must also be £16,190 a year or less. This income limit will be used until April 2013, but may go up in future years.
- a Working Tax Credit 'run-on' payment for four weeks after stopping work or reducing working hours to under 16 hours a week.
If you are a parent wanting to apply for free school meals please see Free School Meals and Secondary School Clothing Grants - How to claim.
Foster children cannot have free school meals even if the foster parent is getting any of the above. Foster parents receive an allowance for looking after the child from Children's Services.
Children who go to school in Manchester but live elsewhere get free school meals from the council where they live. Parents should apply to their local council.
Children of asylum seekers have different arrangements for claiming free school meals.