Free school meals, school meals and milk

Free school meals

Is my child eligible?

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 automatically get free school meals if they go to school. It's called universal infant free school meals. You do not have to apply to get these meals, but if you do receive one of the benefits listed below, you should still apply. 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 benefits to get 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. Or collect it from your child's school.

Free school meals over school holidays

Children and young people who are eligible for means-tested free school meals will receive food vouchers over the Christmas 2021-22 and February 2022 half-term holidays.

The EdenRed vouchers are ordered via schools and can be used at any supermarket. Over the Christmas holidays, each eligible child will receive £55 in vouchers and at half-term they will receive £15.

Paying for school meals

To see the cost of your child's school meal, go to the individual school website.

School milk

If the local authority run the school (known as a maintained school), they must offer milk in school hours.

This includes all maintained:

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

Children age 5-11 years can get a standard carton of milk for 20p.

Frequently asked questions

Your child could still get free school meals if:

  • They are at home instead of school because of COVID-19. For example, because of self-isolation, they are part of a planned phased return, or another COVID-19 reason and
  • You get one of the benefits listed at the top of this page

This applies to all year groups.

Your school will contact you directly to support you. You can also contact your child’s school for information if needed.

Your child will not continue to get free school meals at home if:

  • They automatically get free school meals because they are in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 (universal free school meals)
  • You choose to keep them away from school or if they are absent for a non-COVID-19 related reason

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.

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.

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 Norfolk Assistance Scheme.

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