Free school meals

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+++ To be eligible to receive support through the COVID Summer Food Fund, your application for free school meals must be verified before your child’s school closes for the summer holidays. Already entitled? Please do not apply again +++

There is no requirement to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in reception, year 1, or year 2 who are unable to attend school. Children in those year groups who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will be supported.

Infant Free School Meals

When schools are operating normally your child gets free school meals if they’re in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

If you get any of the benefits listed below, your child’s school will get more funding. Apply online now if you’re entitled to make sure your child gets free school meals as they move to Year 3.

Free school meals for children in Year 3 and older

Older children may get free school meals if their parents or carers get any of these benefits:

[Anyone getting Working Tax Credit won’t get free meals regardless of income]

  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Children will get free school meals if they meet the criteria and are in school both before and after lunchtime.

Children eligible for free school meals on or after 1 April 2018 will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023 even if your circumstances change.

Our Electronic Checking Service might be able to confirm entitlement. If not, you’ll need to show recent proof that you qualify. Meals cannot be given until eligibility is verified.

If your child attends an East Sussex school, apply to us or to the school. If your child goes to school outside the county, speak to the school.

If your child solely attends one of the following academies, apply to them using their own form:

Special academies:

  • Glyne Gap

Secondary academies:

  • King’s Academy Ringmer
  • The Eastbourne Academy

Primary academies:

  • ARK Blacklands
  • ARK Castledown
  • Breakwater
  • Burfield
  • Hawkes Farm
  • High Cliff
  • Phoenix
  • White House

Further information

The Admissions and Transport team administer free school meals.