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Free school meals

All infant school children, those in reception, year 1 and year 2 have been entitled to free school meals since September 2014. Just tell your school that you want your child or children to have free school meals.

If your infant child would have been entitled to free school meals under the old system, because you are receiving qualifying benefits (listed below) the government will give your school a Pupil Premium of £1,320 for primary-aged pupils (2016-2017).

For the school and your child to benefit from this money we need to know that you are receiving a qualifying benefit. Please complete the claim form which is available from your school or you can download it from our downloads section

For children in years 3 and above, free school meals are not provided automatically. They can be awarded only if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit - providing you are NOT entitled to Working Tax Credit and your family's annual income (as assessed by HMRC) is not more than £16,190 (as at 6 April 2012)
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment you may receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods) 

The exception is during the four-week 'run on' period when you may have stopped qualifying for but are still receiving payment of Working Tax Credit.

Children who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seeker's Allowance in their own right qualify as well. All pupils who do not qualify for free school meals must be charged the same amount for the same quantity of the same item.

Free school meals are available to eligible children that attend school within Wiltshire, on a full-time basis. This includes nursery children (of compulsory school age) who attend school full-time and sixth form students (but NOT college or further education level students). If you live in Wiltshire, but your child attends schools in another local authority area (for example Swindon), you should apply via that local authority.


The government is giving money to schools to help children from lower income families do their very best. This funding is called a Pupil Premium.

For every child registered the school gets £935 for secondary-aged pupils or £1,320 for primary-aged pupils (2016-2017).


If you want your child to have a free, healthy meal at lunchtime they will get the free school meal (saving you more that £350 a year) and the school gets £935 or £1,320 extra (2016-2017).

If you don’t want your child to have the free school meals they can continue as normal – as long as you qualify and are registered, the school still gets £935 or £1,320 extra. 


Please register as soon as possible to make sure your child and others in their class don’t miss out.

Registering for free school meals is confidential, no one will know you have registered and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming, you can apply online or alternatively download the application form from our downloads section. 

The completed form can be returned to your child’s school. They will forward it to us on your behalf. Alternatively, you can send it direct to:

Free School Meals
Children's Services
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN

Most applications for free school meals are processed by us, but a number of schools administer their own applications and will advise you of their process.


Schools that administer their own applications

Most applications for free school meals are processed by Wiltshire Council, but a number of schools administer their own applications and will advise you of their process.
This data is correct at September 2018 but is subject to change.

  • Saint Edmund’s Catholic Academy

    • Bishop Wordsorth’s Grammar School
    • Bradon Forest School
    • The Clarendon Academy
    • Hardenhuish School
    • Salisbury 6th Form College
    • Sheldon School
    • South Wilts Grammar School for Girls
    • St John’s School Marlborough

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    Last updated: 9 January 2020 | Last reviewed: 9 January 2020