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Free School Meals

Who qualifies for a Free School Meal?


Parents/guardians who receive any of the following benefits are entitled to Free School Meals


  • Income-based & Contribution-based JSA or ESA on an equal basis

  • Income Support (IS)

  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)

  • Income-related employment and support allowance (IRESA)

  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, that does not exceed £16,190

  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit

  • Where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit run-on (the payment someone receives for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999


Please note the following benefits do not qualify for Free School Meals: Contributions based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Invalidity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Child Benefit.


Applying for Free School Meals


Free School Meals are administered by Devon County Council (DCC) for all Devon maintained schools and you should apply to Devon if your child(ren) are attending a Devon school.


The claimant in receipt of the qualifying benefit will need to apply:


  • Phone 0345 155 1019 with your National Insurance Number, date of birth, name and child’s details and an eligibility check can be carried out using the Department for Education’s Eligibility Checking System, this will confirm if your details have been matched or not. It will not tell us what benefits you are in receipt of, dates when a benefit was awarded or say how much you receive

  • Apply online by downloading an application form and emailing it to the Free School Meals Team at


For more information please visit the Free School Meals page at

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