Free School Meals
You do not need to make a separate claim for free school meals if you are already in receipt or have applied for Housing Benefit or help with your Council Tax.
Oldham Council will use the information and evidence you have already provided to them to confirm your entitlement to free school meals. The exception to this is if you live outside the borough and you child goes to an Oldham school. Then you will need to apply through your local council.
You can get free school meals if your child attends a local authority maintained school (not private) and you receive one of the following:
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)
- An income-related employment and support allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit (provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed the current year’s level
- the Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finished, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week.
- Universal Credit, provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month) )
- You, as the parent or guardian, must Receive Child Benefit for the child you are responsible for.
- Children who receive IS or IBJSA in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
- Children who receive “education suitable for children who have not attained compulsory school age” will still need to satisfy the additional requirement of “receiving education both before and after the lunch period”, before being eligible to receive free school meals.
There are also cases where the parent/guardian whose children may be eligible for free school meals is not on Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction, i.e. where they are not the householder. This is generally the case where the pupils’ parent/guardian lives in another household.
If your circumstances change:
If your or your child’s circumstances change free school meals may be withdrawn, the most common reasons include:
- The parent or guardian ceases to receive a qualifying benefit
- The child leaves school
- The family move out of the borough
- The child goes onto packed lunches (long term)
- The child is absent from school for a long period of time
All changes of circumstance must be reported by the benefit claimant (schools can also report changes of circumstance).