Claiming free school meals

How to access free school meals

Universal Free School Meals

Since September 2014, all pupils in Reception Year 1, and Year 2 are automatically entitled to a free school meal, under the Governments Universal Infant School Meals (UIFSM) policy. The annual saving for your household budget is approximately £400 per child. While helping our city’s youngest school children to make the right food choices, UIFSM also plays an essential role in the nation’s fight to reduce levels of obesity.

All other Year Groups beyond Year 2, pupils in Key Stage 2 and 3 may also be entitled to a free school meal.

Primary and Secondary School Free Meals

If you are the parent or guardian of a child that you believe is entitled to free schools meals, you will need to present your Tax Credits Award Notice to your school’s Administration Office – or documentation proving that you receive one or more of the following benefits:

  • IS
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

You must ensure you inform the school if your circumstances change and if you claim free school meals without entitlement, you will be required to pay back the cost of meals. Visit Southampton City Councils website for future information.


Southampton Free School Meals Information