Free School Meals



Children may qualify for free school meals if they attend a Nottinghamshire County Council School and the parent/carer receives one of the qualifying benefits below:


  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earning from up to three of your most recent assessment periods). 
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after the person stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)


Coronavirus (COVID-19): temporary extension of eligibility



Children who receive income support or income related employment support allowance in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals (this situation often applies to post-16 pupils in special schools).


More information on registering for Free School Meals


You can register online.


Information you need to register:


  • your personal details (including national insurance number and date of birth of the parent/carer)
  • child’s details in full, including their date of birth and the school they attend.


If you are eligible for free school meals the start date will normally be within two working days of parents contacting us and entitlement being confirmed. Children attending maintained nurseries also qualify for a free school meal as long as they are receiving funded early years education before and after lunch. 


Children transferring between schools that use Nottinghamshire County Council’s eligibility assessment service do not need to reapply. For children attending a school that does not use this service you should contact the school directly for information about how to apply for free school meals.



If you are unable to apply online please call 0300 500 80 80 or complete an application form.


Free school milk

The eligibility criteria for free milk entitlement is exactly the same as for FSM.


Free milk is available for:


  • children under the age of five in school or daycare
  • children receiving free school meals. The eligibility criteria for free milk entitlement is exactly the same as for free school meals. Where local authorities or schools provide milk, it must be free to children whose parents get the same support payments as for free school meals.


Where LAs or schools provide milk, it must be free to children whose parents are in receipt of the same support payments as for FSM.


Universal infant free meals – all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools are now entitled to free school meals.


Register for additional funding for your child’s school

It is important that all parents who receive one of the benefits listed above register for free school meals as this will enable your child’s school to claim pupil premium allocation. The pupil premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise attainment.

In the 2016-2017 financial year schools received:

 £1,320 for each eligible primary-aged pupil

 £935 for each eligible secondary-aged pupil