Find out if your child can get free school meals and how to apply, and understand how to get extra funding for your school.
If your child is usually eligible for Free School Meals but is not attending school because of coronavirus (COVID-19), speak to their school to find out how to get free school meal vouchers or other support with food.
We're asking all parents whose children go to school in Bristol to find out if their child can get free schools meals and to register for Pupil Premium funding.
Pupil Premium funding goes directly to the school and pays for things like school trips, breakfast clubs, or additional teachers and assistants to provide extra support and 1 to 1 tutoring.
The Pupil Premium is extra funding for every child who's eligible for free school meals throughout their time at school.
Pupil Premium funding is around £1320 per primary school child and around £935 per secondary school child.
This money makes a big difference to schools and the eligible pupils. Your child's school reports on how they spend the money on its website.
Children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Apply for Pupil Premium funding
You should apply for Pupil Premium funding if you receive income support, tax credits or the other benefits shown on this page so that your child's school will get extra funding.
All children up to Year 2 automatically get free school meals.
If you think your child might be entitled to the Pupil Premium funding, download and complete the pdf checker form (108 KB) and return it to your child's school.
Children in Year 3 and older (including secondary schools)
You can apply for free school meals and Pupil Premium from Year 3 onwards if you get any of these benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- 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)
- Universal Credit: if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get. This is also called the 'minimum income floor'.) If your child is eligible for free school meals they will eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they are in on 31 March 2023.
Apply for free school meals and Pupil Premium
Applying online is the easiest way. You'll get an immediate decision or we'll tell you if we need more information.
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.
Return your completed application form to Free School Meals Service, Bristol City Council (City Hall),PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS1 9NE.
You can also apply at your child's school.
Children in care
Children in care up to Year 2 automatically get free school meals.
Children in care in Years 3 to 11 are entitled to free school meals if their parent or carer gets any of the benefits mentioned above.
Young people in care who are in post 16 education may also be entitled to free meals. See 16 to 19 free meals in further education funded institutions for 2018 to 2019 on GOV.UK
Pupil Premium funding for children in care is different. See Pupil premium overview on GOV.UK
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.
- 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
- Victoria Park Primary School
- Westbury Park Academy
- Bristol Cathedral Choir School
- Cotham School
- Merchant's Academy
- Oasis Academy Brightstowe
- Oasis Academy Brislington
- Oasis Academy John Williams
- St Bede's Catholic College
- Trinity Academy
Contact us if you've moved or your benefits have changed
If your child gets free school meals because you get benefits, you need to tell us if you move home or if your benefits have stopped or changed. You can use email, phone or post.