If you have a child attending a Sheffield school or maintained nursery and receive these benefits, you may be entitled to free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income related Employment Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit as long as you have a yearly household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) and do not get Working Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit (from April 2018 this will be subject to an earnings cap)

If you are over 18 and still attend school, your free school meals will continue. If you are unsure about your eligibility please contact us.

Infant free school meals

If your child attends a state funded infant school and is in Key Stage 1 (reception, year 1 or year 2), they are entitled to ‘universal infant free school meals’ regardless of your income. Please contact your child’s school to tell them you would like to have ‘universal infant free school meals’.

Apply for free school meals

You can apply by:

  • filling out an application form
  • asking the school to apply on your behalf
  • contacting us

Please make sure you have your National Insurance Number, names and date of births of your children. 

Parents of infants who receive the above qualifying benefits

You can apply for free school meals if you think you might be entitled, because your school gets up to £1,320 additional funding (Pupil Premium) to support your child's education and can help to buy new equipment and resources. This money is only paid if you apply for free school meals and are confirmed to be entitled.

Next steps after you've applied

If your claim is successful, the school will be notified that your child can have free school meals. Schools will ensure that this information is treated with the strictest confidence and handled sensitively.

Change of circumstances

Contact us if your circumstances change. For example, if you no longer receive benefits, move house or change school, as this may affect your right to claim.

Automatic award for free school meals

The Government allows us to use housing benefit information that we already hold to identify households who may meet the criteria for free school meals, but have not yet made an application.  By automatically awarding free school meals it doesn't mean your child has to have a meal but it does make sure that your school receives extra funding (Pupil Premium).

We provide the electronic free school meals checking service with your surname, National Insurance number and date of birth and it gives us a simple 'yes' or 'no' in relation to your eligibility.

We do not see any other information about you or your family, and we are also not allowed to ask anything else from the Department of Work and Pensions, Inland Revenue or the Benefits Agency. The information is kept securely and we have to follow very strict procedures about how we look after your personal information under the Data Protection Act. It would be illegal for us to misuse or share details about you for any other purpose that you don’t know about and agree with.

If you don’t want to have your information used in the automatic award then please contact us by phone on 0114 273 4767, or by emailing schoolfoodservice@sheffield.gov.uk. Your information will not be checked for entitlement and will be taken off the lists we send to schools.

Paid for school meals

Each school will have its own arrangements for ordering school meals, the meal prices in the Taylor Shaw Contract are:

  • Nursery: £1.75
  • Infants: free
  • Junior : £2
  • Secondary Schools will have an option for a 2 course meal for £2.10

The main catering contractor in Sheffield is Taylor Shaw - this contact runs until 2020. 

Free School Meals

Ask us a question

0114 273 4567 Option 4, then option 3