We will only process applications for schools that subscribe to the Free School Meals service. All schools in Somerset, except King Arthur’s School, Wincanton, and The Mendip School, Prestleigh, Shepton Mallet, are subscribed. If your child attends either of their schools, please contact the school directly to apply for free school meals.
We strongly recommend that you read the rest of this page before you apply.
Children eligible for free school meals must be in school all day, and they will be provided with a meal at lunchtime which is paid for by the school.
It is the responsibility of the parents or carers to register their entitlement and request free school meals for their children.
Children in pre-school or nursery (known as childcare providers) do not qualify for a free meal until they start school. But applications will be processed so that when your child starts school, you will already be notified whether they qualify for a free school meal or not.
Parents and carers who receive any of the following are entitled to free school meals:
- Income Support (IS)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
- Universal Credit with an annual household income of less than £7400 after tax
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
- Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit, with an annual taxable income (as assessed by HMRC) of less than £16,190
Only the benefits listed above qualify for free school meals. If you have recently become unemployed, but are still receiving Working Tax Credits, you may be entitled to free school meals. Please phone us on 0300 123 2224 for advice.
If you meet the criteria listed above, please complete the application form below by clicking on the Apply now button.
Apply for free school meals
Or you can print out a copy of the application form for free meals at school, fill it in and take the completed form to your child’s school, or send it to – Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.
You do not need to send evidence with this application. If we need evidence later, we will ask you for it.
What happens next
We will check your eligibility and let you know the outcome of your application, usually within 10 working days. If you are eligible, we will tell you how to start receiving free school meals.
If your child is entitled to a free school meal but requires a special medical diet, this can be arranged, but please speak to your school about it.
Once free school meals have been awarded to a child, they will remain in place for that child until at least March 2025 – whether your circumstances change or not – when it will be reviewed in line with the latest government requirements.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Universal Infant Free School Meals
Every child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is entitled to a Universal Infant Free School Meal. Each school is responsible for providing this, and they may ask you to fill in an application form to show that you require a meal for your child or children. Therefore, please contact your school to discuss arranging a meal.