Free School Meals vouchers - six-week summer holidays

The council is continuing to support eligible parents of free school meals with a food voucher for the main six-week summer holiday.

Eligible families will receive a £90 (£15 per week) food voucher per child, which will include families of children with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) that schools have identified as being eligible.

Your child's school will again be making the arrangements to send out these vouchers, not the council.

Please note, the food voucher scheme is only available to those who are in receipt of benefit-related Free School Meals who attend a Sandwell school. It 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.

In addition, 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.

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 vouchers in the future

Going forward, free school meal vouchers issued to families during school holidays may no longer continue into the new 2024/25 academic year and beyond. Further updates will be provided on this page nearer the time.

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 Privacy Notice

To view the councils full free school meals privacy notice, please click on the link below;

Free School Meals Full Privacy Notice

Reviewed and updated - June 2024. Next review - April 2025

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:

Telephone: 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 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.

Please ensure you check your junk folder. Unfortunately, sometimes emails that are sent to parents are received in their junk email folder.