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 as at Sept 2022:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

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 2023.

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.

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.

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.


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 £985 for free school meal claimants during and £2,414 for Children Looked After 2022 - 2023. These details are correct as at September 2023.

For more information, please visit Gov.UK here