Free School Meals

What are Free School Meals?

A Free School Meal is a school lunch provided free of charge by Aberdeenshire Council to children from families on a low income.

If your child attends primary school and qualifies for this entitlement he/she will be provided with a free school meal. An online payment system is in operation which will recognise when a child is entitled. Though payments are not required parents and carers are advised to register to access this system to allow them to view daily meal choices a pupil is making.

If a child attends a secondary, he/she will be given a daily credit allowance to be used in the school dining hall at lunchtime. The credit allowance is the equivalent value of a two course meal. This automatically goes onto a pupil’s account at the start of each day. Any sum remaining after the lunch period is removed.

Free School Meals Information and Advice Leaflet

Can my child get free school meals?

Children are eligible for Free School Meals if their parents (or carers) are in receipt of the following:

  • Income Support*
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)*
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Any income related element of Employment Support Allowance*
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit (WTC), and have an income of less than £16,105*
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC), and have an income of less than £6420
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

*Pupils are eligible for Free School Meals in their own right if they are 16-18 and fall into this category.

Children from families within the following categories may also be eligible for Free School Meals :

  • Student parents who have children at school providing you are receiving child tax credit and your income is less than £16,105
  • Parents or carers who have savings above £16,000, but very low income.

Where can I obtain an application from?

You can apply online here.

If you are in receipt of housing benefit/council tax reduction you will not need to submit a separate application form for free school meals. If you qualify for free school meals we will write to you and confirm your entitlement.

If you are not in receipt of housing benefit or council tax reduction you can obtain an application form for free school meals by contacting us:

Your should return your completed application form to the following address:

  • Aberdeenshire Council, PO Box 18533, Inverurie, AB51 5WX

Do I have to provide any additional information with my application form?

When you complete and return your application form you will have to provide some documentary evidence. This could be:

  • A letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) less than three months old confirming the type of benefit and current eligibility.
  • If you receive Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, your letter must state the words Income-based.
  • Your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602 for 2015/2016 from HM Revenue & Customs
  • Pension Credit Award Notice for 2015/2016 including assessment pages.
  • Confirmation of current support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) or a Social Services Asylum Team.

You can send the documentary evidence with your claim form, however we do not advise that you send any valuable documents by post. You may wish to bring your documents to your nearest local Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team where the documents will be verified and returned to you immediately.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in providing the documentary evidence in support of your claim please contact us for advice and assistance.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change for any reason you must contact the Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team:

If you receive a free school meal to which you are not entitled you will be asked to pay that money back.

Who do I contact if I have any queries about Free School Meals?

If you have a query about entitlement to free school meals you can contact the Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team:

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