Free school meals and the pupil premium
Free school meals and the pupil premium
Find out if your child can get free school meals and how to apply, and understand how to get extra funding for your school.
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 checker form (pdf, 103KB) (opens new window) and return it to your child’s school.
Apply for Year 3
If your child is in Year 2 at a Bristol infant school or primary school then make a Free School Meals application for Year 3 in September 2018 from July 2018.
You'll need to give the name of the school your child will be attending in September 2018 as the current school. Your application will be processed early in September 2018.
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) 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 also apply by filling in a form and posting it or emailing it to us.
You can also apply at your child's school.
Children in care
The Pupil Premium funding for children in care is different.
See the HOPE Virtual School's Personal Education Plan page for details.
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.
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.
- Christ Church C.E. Primary School (Clifton)
- Cotham School
- Henbury School
- Merchants' Academy
- Oasis Academy Brislington
- Oasis Academy Connaught
- St Bede's Catholic College
- Westbury Park Primary School
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.
Free School Meals
Bristol City Council
PO Box 3176
Bristol, BS3 9FS
Monday to Thursday: 10am to 5pm
Friday: 10am to 4:30pm
Lines are closed Wednesday mornings until 12noon for staff training
Tel: 0117 903 7990