Free School Meals
Free School Meals (FSM) are available to children in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on: Paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
As a parent/carer, if you consider that your child meets the eligibility criteria for FSM but does not currently receive one, you should complete your application on the Bristol City Council website (click here).
If you provide Bristol City Council with your National Insurance number and date of birth, they can check your entitlement online through a secure website provided by the Department for Education. This means that you may not need to send in any paper evidence and your entitlement will continue until you stop receiving the qualifying benefit or you tell them otherwise. The Department for Education records will normally confirm whether or not you’re entitled to FSM. However, in some cases these records may not detect the qualifying benefit, in which case you will need to provide paper evidence.
Even if parents/carers wish to provide a packed lunch each day once, it is beneficial to your child and the school to complete the FSM application as the school is able to claim extra funding called Pupil Premium. Pupil Premium is additional funding from the Government to help improve the attainment of children receiving a FSM and looked-after children. This can include assistance with the cost of uniform, educational visits, and music lessons etc. School leaders decide how to spend this funding, however a detailed report is published every year on our website.