Free school meals
If you’re on benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals no matter what year they are in which could save you £420 per year per child.
You are entitled to free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with an annual income of less than £16,190, provided they are not receiving Working Tax Credit
- The ‘Guaranteed’ element of the State Pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Please note: People receiving Working Tax Credit, regardless of their income level, do not qualify.
To claim please speak to your child's school. Further information can be found on our How to claim free school meals page.
To find out if you are eligible, ask at the school office or call Leeds Welfare and Benefits Service on 0113 222 4404.
Year 10 pupils in Leeds have recorded a series of videos on free school meals which are available to view on YouTube.
Universal infant free school meals
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England receive free school meals.
Please see the frequently asked questions section for more information. Further information is available below, or on the school food plan website and the children's food trust website. You don’t need to apply for infant free school meals and most schools will encourage all pupils to take up this offer.
If you’re on benefits and your child is entitled to universal infant free school meals anyway, it’s still important to register for a free school meal to ensure your child’s school doesn’t miss out on funding called pupil premium.
We’re working hard to make sure our school lunches are tasty and healthy, as well as making lunchtimes comfortable and fun for everyone.
Paid school meals
For pupils in year 3 up to, and including, year 12 (while still in full time school education), who aren’t eligible for a free school meal, there is an option to pay for a school meal. The cost of a school meal can vary in different schools and each school will set their own price. This can range from £1.60-£2.40 (purchasing individual items can cost more in secondary schools). Schools should provide information on their websites or you can contact the school directly to find out the cost and preferred payment method.
Most schools provide the option for pupils to bring in their lunch from home to consume on school site. Leeds City Council works with schools and encourages them to develop their own packed lunch guidance or polices to ensure all meals are healthy, nutritious and balanced. School polices should be mindful of special diets, allergies or intolerances and consider affordable and cultural foods.