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Free school meals

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Is my child eligible?

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 automatically get free school meals if they go to school. This is called universal infant free school meals. This is different to benefit-related free school meals and you do not have to apply, but if you receive one of the benefits listed below, you should still register below. This is because it can help raise extra funds for your child's school (called Pupil Premium). This Government funding can help with extra tuition, teaching and after school activities.

If your child is in Year 3 or above, you must receive one of the following to get benefit-related free school meals:

  • Universal Credit - with an annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190

You must apply for these free school meals.

Apply for free school meals

You can apply online for free school meals using your Norfolk Education Online (NEO) account. You can use the same account for 2-year-old childcare funding and school admissions.

Apply for free school meals

You can also  download and send us an application form (PDF) [166KB] or collect it from your child's school.

Children of foreign nationals

Families with British National (Overseas) status and families with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) are entitled to apply for free school meals by completing the NRPF free school meals application. 

Apply for NRPF free school meals. (Word doc) [52KB]

Frequently asked questions

What happens after I have applied for free school meals?

If you are eligible for free school meals we'll email or write to you to let you know. We'll also tell your child's school. If we need more information about your application, we'll contact you.


What happens if my child moves schools?

If your child moves schools within Norfolk, they will continue to receive free school meals if they are still eligible.

If your child is moving to a school outside Norfolk, you will need to apply to the county council where the new school is.


What if I always home-school my child?

Children who are normally home-schooled are not eligible for free school meals. This includes both universal free school meals and families who receive benefits.

If you home-school your children and are in hardship, apply for support via Client Hardship Service.


Paying for school meals

If you pay for school meals, go to your child's school website for cost, menu and payment information.

School milk

If the local authority runs the school (known as a maintained school), they must offer milk during school hours. This includes all maintained:

  • Primary schools
  • Infant schools
  • Junior schools
  • Secondary schools

Children aged 5-11-years-old can buy a standard carton of milk.

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