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Free school meals
The Council provides two types of free school meals to children attending a school within the Cheshire East Borough.
We suggest you do make a claim for free school meals even if your child is in key stage 1 as the school can claim additional funding (pupil premium) for new equipment and resources.
You can apply for nursery-age children if they attend before and after lunch sessions at a local authority nursery school, nursery class or an Academy nursery if it has the same Ofsted number as the primary school.
Phone 0300 123 5012 for further information and help.
Claim for free school meals
Apply for free school meals
We use the Government eligibility checker to confirm your entitlement. Successful claims can begin the same day. If your claim is not successful or you need to send more proof we will contact you by phone or email, your entitlement will only begin once this information is provided.
We cannot 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.
Appealing against the free school meals eligibility criteria
The qualifying criteria for free school meals is set by Central Government, not Cheshire East Council. Any change to the criteria must be raised via your Member of Parliament.
Free school meals for customers with no recourse to public funds
The Department for Education permanently extended free school meal eligibility to children in all households with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), subject to maximum income thresholds of;
- £22,700 for families outside of London with 1 child
- £26,300 for families outside of London with 2 or more children
If your total household income is below the maximum thresholds detailed above and you are in any one of the following categories you need to email email@example.com so that we can issue an online application form to you to be able to consider your particular circumstances;
- Zambrano carers
- families who have no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
- a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Chen carers
- families holding a BN(O) passport
- spousal visa holders
- work visa holders
- student visa holders
- those with no immigration status
Schools outside of Cheshire East
If you live in Cheshire East but your child attends a school in that is in other local authority area, you need to apply for Free School Meals from the Local Education Authority the school belongs to. To find out which Local Authority your child’s school is in visit GOV.UK.
Email reminders for due back dates
Your child's school will arrange for the meals to be provided at school. Find out more about our school meals service.
This is additional funding that your child’s school can claim. It is available for any child who qualifies for free school meals due to their family income.
The money can be used by the school to help to provide more support to the children, to help develop children’s academic progress, their self esteem or their social and emotional skills.
For each child registered, the school will from April 2023 will receive:
- £1,455 for pupils in reception through to Year 6
- £1,035 for pupils in years 7 through to 11
- £2,530 for pupils who are in care or who have left local authority care through adoption/special guardianship order/child arrangements order/residence order
- £335 for pupils where either parent is a serving member of the armed forces or has been in service during the child’s education
Contact the school to find out how your child's pupil premium has been spent.
Free school meals firstname.lastname@example.org
0300 123 5012
Free School Meals
Cheshire East Council
PO Box 622
Or contact any Cheshire Maintained School.
Page last reviewed: 13 February 2023
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