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Free school meals | Sandwell Council

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Free school meals

Important notice: If you have a query about 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 to eligible free school meals children. Food vouchers are not available to children receiving a free meal under the Universal Free Meal Scheme (available to all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 regardless of parental income).

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 878494 - Monday to Wednesday
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.

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 ** if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods (after tax and not including any benefits you get) Your net earned income is your household income after taxes and deductions and does not include income from Universal Credit or any other benefits you may receive. 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit (including Child Tax Credit)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • support from the National Asylum Support Service.

**You may be asked to provide supporting evidence if you receive Universal Credit, for example a copy of your Universal Credit Statement(s)

**Universal Credit will be rolled out in Sandwell from November 2018. For further information on Universal Credit please read the following link 'Get ready for Universal Credit' page. 

Please note - If your child is eligible or becomes eligible for free school meals at any time before 31 March 2023, 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 & Shenstone Lodge

Please Note: If your child attends either Mesty Croft Academy or Shenstone Lodge, do not apply for free school meals from Sandwell MBC 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 HAFSandwell to access free activities during the school holidays.

Please click HERE further details

Free school meals for infants from September 2014

School meals are free for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Please ask at your child's school about arrangements.