Last updated: 7 September 2023

Next review: 7 September 2024

If your child attends secondary school in Waltham Forest, they will get free school meals if you or your partner receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit*
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • The Guarantee Credit element of State Pension Credit
  • Support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
  • Support from the Local Authority Social Services Asylum Team (SSAT)
  • Child Tax Credit (if you’re not entitled to Working Tax Credit - see below), and you earn less than £16,190 a year
  • Working Tax Credit for four weeks after your employment ends

*Universal credit

  • To get free school meals you must not earn over £7,400 a year.  
  • If you child now receives free school meals, this will continue until the rollout of universal credit ends. 
  • After this date, these children will keep getting free school meals until the end of their current school (primary or secondary).
  • This applies to the child, not the family, so their siblings may not get free school meals.

Parents with no recourse to public funds

Children in all households with no recourse to public funds are entitled to Free School Meals, subject to a restriction on maximum income.  This includes but is not limited to households who fall into the following groups:

  • Zambrano carers
  • Families with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 
  • Some failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Chen carers
  • families holding a British National (Overseas) passport
  • spousal visa holders
  • work visa holders
  • student visa holders
  • those with no immigration status

The maximum income levels are:

  • £22,700 for families living outside London with 1 child
  • £26,300 for families living outside London with 2 or more children
  • £31,200 for families in London with 1 child
  • £34,800 for families living in London with 2 or more children