Important notice: If you have a query about the Easter school holiday food vouchers for children who receive free school meals, you must contact your child's school, not the Education Benefits team, as your child's school are responsible for these arrangements.Vouchers will only be available for eligible free school meals children. Food vouchers are not available to children receiving a free meal under the Universal Infant Free Meals Scheme (available to all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, regardless of parental income).

Free school meals vouchers during Easter school holiday - For those in School 'Only'

We are now in a position to be able to provide families with vouchers of a maximum value of £15 per child for the Easter break. One voucher will be issued per eligible child. Each voucher will be to the value of £15 only for the Easter break. This will include children with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) that schools have identified as having eligibility. Your child's school will send out these vouchers, not the authority.

Please note, this does not include children who receive a free meal under the Universal Infant Free Meals Scheme that is available to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, regardless of parental income. 

Free school meals vouchers - Going forward

As you know, the council has, up until the Easter break, prioritised the provision of food vouchers during school holidays to eligible parents whose children receive free school meals when the majority of other councils ended their offer.

Going forward, free school meals vouchers issued to families during school holidays will no longer continue. We as a council recognise that the cost-of-living crisis has affected many families in Sandwell and for those families who are struggling or in need of extra support during the school holidays, we will still continue to offer Holiday Activities and Food during the school holidays. Eligible children can enjoy fun activities and a meal, free of charge.

In addition, for families who need extra financial support during the school holidays, help is also available on the Supporting Sandwell information hub, which includes financial advice.

Free School Meals - Criteria to qualify

Many families in Sandwell could get free school meals but don't claim for them.

Your child may be entitled to free school meals if:

  • your annual income is less than £16,190; and
  • you claim Child Tax Credit (*Not Including Working Tax Credit) only; and

  • your child is attending a Sandwell School (if your child(ren) doesn't attend a Sandwell School, you will need to apply to the Local Authority which your child(ren) school is in)

*Please note you will not qualify for free school meals if you receive any amount of Working Tax Credit. Before applying please check your latest Tax Credit Awards Notice if you are unsure.

Your child may also qualify for free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit To qualify if you are in receipt of Universal Credit, your net earned income (after taxes and deductions ‘take home pay’) must be below £616 per month under the Universal Credit allowance you receive. This will be confirmed on your latest online Universal Credit statement when you received it. If your net earned income shows above the £616 figure you don’t qualify.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit (including Child Tax Credit)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Parent's with No Recourse to Public Funds 'NRTPF' - For parent's with no recourse to public funds, you will need to apply directly at your child's school and must meet the relevant Government set eligibility groups. These can be found on the following link; NRTPF - Eligibility Criteria

Please note - If your child is eligible or becomes eligible for free school meals at any time before 31 March 2025, they will remain eligible until this date or beyond dependent on what school phase (see below) they are in. You will not need to apply for Free School Meals again if you are already eligible at a Sandwell School.

School phases

Primary - The primary phase is defined as the period Reception to Year 6. It includes both Infants and Juniors. 

Secondary - The secondary phase is defined as the period from Year 7 to Year 11.

Free School Meals Full Privacy Notice

How to apply for free school meals

The easiest way to apply for free school meals is online, just click on the button below and fill in a few details and we'll get back to you.

It is really important you read the following before applying:

Mesty Croft Academy, Rounds Green Primary School and Shenstone Lodge

Please note: If your child attends either Mesty Croft Academy, Rounds Green Primary School or Shenstone Lodge, do not apply for free school meals from Sandwell Council as you will not qualify. You will need to apply to the school directly.

Apply for free school meals

Please note: If your child is eligible for free school meals after submitting your application form, you may also wish to then register your child with Holiday Activities and Food Sandwell to access free activities during the school holidays.

Contact us about free school meals

PLEASE NOTE: The Education Benefits team only have one member of staff in the office each day who is contactable by the normal telephone line - 0121 569 8186 or 8189.

Alternate contact numbers (only if you are unable to speak to a staff member in the office);

Free school meals enquiry only

07789 892214 - Monday to Friday 
07385 348299 - Monday to Friday
07789 878359 - Wednesday to Friday
 
Home to School Transport - If your enquiry is regarding home to school travel, please call 07789 878409
 
Email your enquiry - Alternatively if you wish to send your enquiry by email, please email education_benefits@sandwell.gov.uk if you have any enquiries regarding free school meals or Home to School Transport. A member of the team will respond or contact you back by telephone if required.
 
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