There are delays to bin collections in a number of areas. We're working this weekend to catch up. What to do if your bin was missed

Home chevron_right Benefits and support chevron_right Free school meals

Free school meals

If you're getting certain benefits, you'll be eligible to apply for free school meals for your child.


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

  • Universal Credit - your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax, and not including any benefits you get)
  • 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

If you're currently getting Working Tax Credit, or your partner is getting Working Tax Credit, regardless of your income, you will not qualify for free school meals.

Free school meals for Key Stage One children

All children in Key Stage One (Reception, Year 1, and Year 2) are entitled to free school meals.

Let us know if you're also getting any of the qualifying benefits (above). Your child's school can get extra funding if you do.

Apply for free school meals

What happens next

Once we've looked at your claim, we'll send you a letter telling you what we've decided. If you qualify for free school meals, we'll tell your child's school.

Transitional protection (Universal Credit)

From 1 April 2018, every child who currently gets free school meals will keep getting them while Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if your earnings are above the new threshold during that time.

Any child who becomes eligible for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will also be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit roll out period.

Once Universal Credit is fully in place, if you no longer meet the eligibility criteria, your child will still get free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (primary or secondary school).

Transitional protection applies to all children, whether they're eligible through legacy benefits or Universal Credit.

Transitional protections are given on a per-child basis, not on a per-family basis. This means that younger children will not automatically be entitled to free school meals just because their older sibling is getting transitional protection. The younger child must meet the eligibility criteria at the time the application is made.

Post-16 students

Post-16 students can get free school meals if they attend a sixth form school based in Middlesbrough.

If your child attends a further education college, they should apply for free meals by contacting the college directly.

Contact us


Phone: 01642 726541

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Free School Meals
PO Box 2