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Free school meals

If you are claiming certain benefits you could save money by claiming free school meals for your child.

Children whose parents or carers receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals in schools maintained by the council. The term parent includes someone living in the household as the partner of a child's biological parent.

  • Universal Credit if your annualised net earnings are £7400 or less*
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit where total annual income (as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Custom service) is less than £16,190.00 a year
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - this is the payment someone receives for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working tax Credit (usually when their employment ceases or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week). Any other type of Working Tax Credit will not make you entitled to free school meals.

Pupils who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals.

* If you are working and you also get Universal Credit, and want to claim free school meals for your child(ren), you may not know whether your earnings are more than £7,400 a year. When you make your claim for free school meals, your local authority will check your eligibility using the eligibility checking system. In most cases, the eligibility checking system will work out whether your earnings are below £7,400 a year and if you are eligible to claim free school meals for your child(ren). 

 The process works by looking at a claimant's earnings for up to three assessment periods (AP) (starting with the most recent and working back). This means irregular earnings can be taken into consideration.  

In other cases, the local authority will need to ask you to provide proof of earnings and will work out if your earnings are more than £7,400 a year or £616.77 per month (ie £7,400 divided by 12). If your earnings are too high, you will not be able to claim free school meals for your child(ren) (although you can apply again if your earnings should drop).

You can learn more about free school meals on the following website: Free School meals - Welsh GovernmentOpens new window

For advice on Free School Meals you can email or telephone 01792 635353 between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday

PDF Document Frequently Asked Questions for Parents following new UC income threshold (PDF, 251KB)Opens new window



Swansea Council are supporting children that are entitled to free school meals during this period of school closure by offering their carer the choice of how we provide them with five lunches a week.

  • A fortnightly payment of £39 direct to their bank account (equating to £19.50 a week).
  • A weekly food parcel that we are seeking to enhance each week. The parcel contents vary from week to week, and we are working with local suppliers to provide appropriate products. Carers can contact the child's local school if they have any dietary needs such as vegetarian or halal, or to get the parcel delivered to the doorstep.

Once the school has been notified that a pupil is eligible for Free School Meals they will contact the eligible carer to arrange registration for the bank payments. The carer will be sent an email to confirm the process.

DO NOT CONTACT the free schools meal team with queries about these payments. Please contact your child's school.

If your child was in receipt of Free School Meals prior to Covid 19 then you do not need to reapply.  If you have not received an email registration from your child's school to register for the payments then please contact your child's school.

If you are making a new application for Free School Meals then you will be notified by email, text or a phone call on whether you are eligible or not.  Once you have received this notification, queries regarding the payments/food parcels should be directed to your child's school.


How to apply for free school meals

The quickest, easiest and cheapest way is to apply online.

Alternatively, whilst the Civic Centre is closed please download and complete the form below and then email to You may also supply any supporting evidence via email.

PDF Document Free School Meals Application (PDF, 48KB)Opens new window

What if my circumstances change?

If you have a change in your personal circumstances that might mean you are no longer entitled to free school meals you must notify us immediately. Tell us about changes such as:

  • starting work and coming off benefits
  • if you change to a different benefit
  • moving home
  • if another of your children starts school for the first time
  • if your child changes school mid way through a term

Free school meals - report a change of circumstances

If you do not tell us about changes at the time they happen, you may have to pay us back for any meals taken whilst you were not eligible.

Decided not to apply?

Did you know that the Welsh Government gives an extra grant for every child that is entitled to and claims free school meals. It can be a significant extra bonus for your child's school so we would urge you to make a claim.

School meals offer a healthy option with significant nutritional benefits and recent evidence suggests that having a healthy meal at lunchtime can assist in improving a child's performance and concentration during the day.


Apply for free school meals

Fill out a form to apply for free school meals for your child.

Free school meals - report a change of circumstances

Please tell us if your circumstances change.

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