Free School Meals
Am I Eligible for Free School Meals?
Cheshire East award free school meals to families that receive
the qualifying incomes as outlined below, and whose children attend
a Cheshire East school.
Parents/Guardians whose children attend schools outside Cheshire
East need to contact the Local Authority in which the school is
It should be noted that children who receive “education suitable
for children who have not attained compulsory school age” will
still need to satisfy the additional requirement of
“receiving education both before and after the lunch period”,
before being eligible to receive free school meals.
If You Think You Are Eligible
All you have to do is phone the number below and we will let you
know if the Children in your care are entitled to Free School
Free School Meals Helpline - 0300 123 5012.
Alternatively you can complete the
Free School Meals enquiry form online.
We will assess your claim using our eligibility checker to
confirm your entitlement; if successful your claim will begin the
same day. If your claim is not successful or if we require any
further information we will contact you by phone or email.
What Happens Next?
Your entitlement will begin on the day your fully completed
application form with the required proof of eligibility is received
at the Customer Contact Centre not the date you become eligible to
any of the stated benefits. We are unable to backdate
claims for Free School Meals to cover unpaid dinner money,
or to refund any dinner money paid prior to the date of a
successful application. A letter of entitlement will be issued to
you by this office.
How Are The Arrangements Reviewed?
Eligibility for free school meals is reviewed periodically and
providing you are still eligible your claim will be renewed
automatically. It may be necessary for parents/carers to re-apply
completing an application form; this will be sent out to you if
required. It is the responsibility of the claimant and not that of
the school to ensure that we have the correct information.
You must notify the Customer Contact Centre:-
- If you stop receiving any of the stated benefits or commence
receiving Working Tax Credit
- Your child changes school or leaves school
- You change your address
If you do not notify us of any changes in your circumstances
then you may be invoiced for the cost of any free school meals
taken that you were not entitled to.
Can I Appeal Against The Free School Meals Eligibility
Local Authorities do not set the qualifying criteria for free
school meals and we are unable to waive them. Any change to the
criteria is a matter for central, not local government so your
Member of Parliament is the appropriate person to contact about
Assistance with School Uniforms
Cheshire East Council does not provide financial assistance with
the cost of school uniforms. Your child’s school may
provide advice on obtaining school uniform. Contact
details for Cheshire East schools are available