Free School Meals

Important information on Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals

‘Free School Meals’ and ‘Universal Infant Free School Meals’ – it’s confusing!!

Prior to September 2014, certain children, because of family circumstances, had been entitled to benefit related free school meals. From September 2014, the government launched a new initiative called Universal Infant Free School Meals that offers free meals to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Universal Infant Free School meals is not linked to eligibility.


All children who are entitled to Free School Meals because of their family circumstances bring an additional £1300 into the school budget to support their learning experiences at school. This money is known as Pupil Premium money and enables school to plan and support learning opportunities for these children.

If your child is entitled to benefit related free school meals please still apply and register your entitlement otherwise school will not receive this additional funding.

A child is entitled to Free School meals if parents/carers are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • During the initial roll out of the benefit, Universal Credit

If you are in receipt of any of the above please still register for free school meals by completing the Blackburn with Darwen application form available at

If you are unable to apply on line, paper copies are available from the school office or the Town Hall. If you need any further information or help completing the form please contact the school office