Holy Family

Catholic Primary School

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Apply for free school meals

Applying for free school meals

Even if your child does not want free school meals, you should still make a request.  This is because you may be entitled to other benefits for your child, for example, free school milk for children under seven, or help towards board and lodging charges for school trips.

Online application

If you meet the criteria, an online request, normally by the parent or guardian of the child, has to be made before the council can provide free school meals. 

Please note: you will have to pay for any school meals your child has before we receive your application. But see the Universal infant free school meals section below.

You can apply for free school meals up to a maximum of two months before your child starts school.

What happens when we receive your application

Once you have applied for free school meals,

  • we aim to deal with your request within 2 working days
  • when you apply online, your entitlement to free school meals will be checked automatically as part of the online process
  • in most cases this is all we need but, if we are unable to confirm your entitlement using this service, we will contact you for more information
  • once we have dealt with your application we will send you a letter confirming your entitlement to free school meals
  • we will also send an email to your child's school the morning after we process your application to let them know that your child can start having free school meals


Changes to your application

What happens if my circumstances change?

If your child becomes eligible for Free School Meals on or after 01/04/18, they will continue to be eligible until the end of Universal Credit roll out (currently March 2023).

This is regardless of any changes in your circumstances and means that you do not need to tell us if your circumstances change.

You only need to tell us if you want to withdraw your application for Free School Meals.

You can contact us;

  • by emailing
  • by phoning 01302 735336, option 1
  • by visiting the Civic Office, Waterdale, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm, excluding bank holidays.


Normally, the earliest date your free school meals can start is the date we receive your request.  You can ask the school for a refund for any school meals you have paid for between the date of your request and the date your child starts receiving free school meals.