Education, Latest News | Posted: Thursday, September 17th, 2020 at 10:38 am | return to news

Your child may qualify for free school meals

With job losses escalating, families in Dorset should check to see if they qualify for free school meals.

These are available to children whose parents or carers receive financial support such as:

Income Support; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; the guaranteed element of Pension Credit; Child Tax Credit; this is as long as you’re not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual gross income is no more than £16,190; Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ payment (paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit); Universal Credit: this is as long as your household income is less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

All children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 qualify for free school meals, regardless of their family income.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said, “I urge all families whose financial circumstances have been affected by the pandemic to check if they are eligible for the scheme.  It’s vital that children are fed and that they continue to eat healthily.  

“We know that many people have to deal with very challenging circumstances and the council is determined to reduce the stresses and pressures on hard-pressed people in our region.”

If a child is eligible for free school meals, they remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling they’re in on 31 March 2022.

To find out more and to apply log onto

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