Find out if your child can get free school meals, how to get extra funding for your school and how to apply.

Free school meals

All children in reception, Year 1 or Year 2 automatically get free school meals.

Children in Year 3 and above can apply for free school meals if their parent or guardian gets certain benefits.

Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is extra funding for every child whose family get any of the benefits below throughout their time at school.

The schools gets £1320 per primary school child and £935 per secondary school child.

This money makes a big difference to schools and the eligible pupils. It is often used for extra resources, school trips and additional staff

Early Years Pupil Premium

Early Years Pupil Premium is available for children aged 3 or 4 in nurseries or with childminders who have not yet started school.

The eligibility criteria are the same as for free school meals, but to apply you need to contact your childcare provider directly.

Free school meals are not available for children in nurseries or with childminders.

Who can apply

You can apply for free school meals and Pupil Premium if you get any of these benefits:

  • Universal Credit if your household income is less than £7,400 a year or £616.67 a month after tax
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (as long as 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)
  • support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

If we find your child is eligible for free school meals, they'll remain eligible until they finish their phase of schooling (primary or secondary) on 31 March 2025.

Children in care

Children in care up to Year 2 automatically get free school meals.

Children in care from Year 3 onwards are eligible for free school meals if their carer gets any of the benefits above.

Pupil Premium funding for children in care is different. See Pupil premium overview on GOV.UK.

Children in households with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)

Children in households with NRPF may be eligible if their household income is less than:

  • £22,700 for families with 1 child
  • £26,300 for families with 2 or more children

If you have NRPF, contact your school directly for help applying.

You can find out more about the NRPF condition on GOV.UK.

Apply for free school meals and Pupil Premium

You do not need to apply for free school meals if your child is in Reception, Year 1, or Year 2. You should still apply for Pupil Premium if you get any of the benefits above.

Apply online

We may contact you to provide evidence of your eligibility. You will need to give us all pages of your most recent benefit statement or letter for any of the benefits above.

Other ways to apply

You can apply by filling in the pdf free school meals form (324 KB)  and posting it or emailing it to us using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

If your child is at an academy

The following academies aren't part of the council free school meals service and you need to contact them directly to apply for free school meals.

Primary schools

  • Cathedral Primary School
  • Headley Park Primary School
  • Merchant's Academy
  • Oasis Academy Bank Leaze
  • Oasis Academy Connaught
  • Oasis Academy Long Cross
  • Oasis Academy Marksbury Road
  • Oasis Academy New Oak
  • Redfield Educate Together Academy
  • Victoria Park Primary School
  • Westbury Park Academy

Secondary schools

  • Bristol Cathedral Choir School
  • Cotham School
  • Merchant's Academy
  • Montpelier High School
  • Oasis Academy Brightstowe
  • Oasis Academy Brislington
  • Oasis Academy Daventry
  • Oasis Academy John Williams
  • Oasis Academy Temple Quarter
  • St Bede's Catholic College
  • Trinity Academy

Get more help

If you're struggling to afford food there are organisations and schemes across the city that can help you get food.

To find out about school holiday vouchers, you should first contact your child's school.

The best way to contact us for more information or provide evidence to support your application is by email to the address below.

Contact information

Free School Meals

Bristol City Council
PO Box 3399
Bristol, BS1 9NE