Shaftesbury High School

Shaftesbury High School

Free School Meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Universal Credit with a household income of less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • Income-Based Jobseekers' Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, not entitled to Working Tax Credit and household income less than £16,190
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit 'run on' – the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you finish work

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.

Register online at Lancashire County Council by clicking this link - It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings.

Lancashire County Council use the government benefits database to check entitlement for free school meals.

If it shows that you are not entitled, you may need to provide further proof of your entitlement so that they can check your claim again.

You can do this by providing them with a copy of one of the following documents:

  • Your most recent Universal Credit award notice (paper award notice or screenshot of last month's online statement). 
  • The letter showing the breakdown of income support payment.
  • The letter showing the breakdown of jobseekers allowance or Employment Support Allowance.
  • Your complete TC602 Inland Revenue tax credit award notice for the current tax year.
  • Your Pension Credit M1000 award notice.
  • NASS support notice or IS96 document. You must include your NASS reference number, Port reference number and the name of authority providing support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum act 1999.

Contact your local area education office for more details - It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings.

If you have a younger child starting school in September and you are no longer eligible, they will not be protected because this would be a new claim.

Contact Details for Lancashire County Council Free School Meals

You should contact your area education office if:

  • any of your personal details change
  • you have changed address
  • your child has changed schools

If your child is moving to another school in Lancashire, you do not need to reapply for free school meals. Just contact your area education office to let us know. We will tell the school if your child is eligible for free school meals.

If you are moving to Lancashire from another area you’ll need to make a new application. If your eligibility is protected but your circumstances have changed your your application may be refused. If this happens contact your area education office to let us know and we will tell the new school and ensure your eligibility is protected.

Pupil Premium

Tell us if you get any of the above benefits as your child’s school can get extra funding, called pupil premium. The pupil premium provides extra funding to raise the achievement of some pupils. It is worth over £1000 per pupil for the school your child attends. Schools can also claim pupil premium funding for previously looked after children.

The GOV.UK website has information about how much pupil premium funding schools receive, how they should spend it and how they are held to account.

You should NOT apply if:

  • You do not receive of any of the above benefits
  • You are eligible for Working Tax Credit as this automatically means that a family is NOT eligible for free school meals

Students over 16

Some young people over 16 can also get free school meals if they claim a benefit in their own right.

Qualifying benefits include:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

If you go to a school sixth form or special school, contact your local area education office to claim your free meals. 

If you got to a sixth form college or FE college, contact the college direct to claim your free meals.

Work experience

If you already get free meals and your child is on work experience, you can claim for any lunches you have provided. Ask the school for details.

How does it work?


First, check if you receive any of the benefits listed above (it isn't just if you are unemployed so please check the list). If you qualify please CLICK HERE TO CLAIM ONLINE or contact Lancashire County Council directly on the following numbers who will help you with your application for Free School Meals (please note the school cannot assess your eligibility or process your claim).


If you have not claimed for free school meals for your child before you should ring one of the numbers for the Local Area Education Office below. It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings. You will need to provide your name, date of birth and national insurance number. They will confirm whether you are entitled immediately over the telephone. 

  • 01772 531809


Download, print and complete the application form on the LCC Website here and send it to South Area Education Office, Level 1, Christ Church Precinct, County Hall, Preston, PR1 8RJ.

If you have any queries please contact the numbers above or Email

Pupil Premium - Want to help your child's school receive more money to support their learning?

Did you know that just registering your child for Free School Meals means that the school gets extra money? Apply now to make sure that the school doesn't miss out as the Government is giving money to schools to help children from lower income families do their very best. This funding is called Pupil Premium and can be as much as £935 for free school meal claimants during 2018 - 2019.

These details are correct as at September 2019.

For more information please visit Gov.UK here