Free school meals

2023 October half term vouchers

If your child is:

  • Educated at Home
  • Attends an Independent School in Salford
  • Attends a Special School outside of Salford

If you didn't receive vouchers for the 2023 summer holidays, you can now apply for vouchers for the 2023 October half term holidays as part of Free School Meals. The closing date for new application is Monday 09 October 2023. 

Any applications processed after that date will not be eligible to receive vouchers for the October half term break 2023, but will be eligible for vouchers for the Christmas holidays 2023, and the February 2024 half term break.

Salford’s councillors will then have to decide if they can fund school holiday vouchers for the next year.

School holiday voucher enquiry form

If vouchers are issued by the school your child attends, then we can't help with your enquiry.
You will have to speak to staff at your child's school.

Most free school meal applications need to be made to Salford City Council. Details of how to apply are set out below.

However, there are a small number of schools where you need to contact the school directly.

Schools where you need to apply directly  

Contact these schools directly for free school meal enquiries or new applications:

  • Barton Moss Primary School
  • Buile Hill Academy
  • Ellesmere Park High School
  • Marlborough Road Academy
  • Moorside High School
  • St Augustine's CE Primary School

Already receiving a Free School Meal?

If your child was receiving a free school meal during the last school year there is no need to renew your application as the Government introduced transitional protection for claimants of income related free school meals.

Who qualifies for Free School Meals?

Free school meals are for children who:

  • live in the city of Salford (the area covered by Salford City Council); and
  • go to school (not a day nursery or children's centre) in Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan)

If you live outside the city of Salford, but your child goes to a Salford school, complete the online form below.

Free meals are not usually available for children who go to independent (private) schools.

Who is entitled to free school meals:

  • registered pupils at primary and secondary free schools, academies and local authority maintained schools (including a sixth form centre attached to a maintained school); and
  • pupils attending maintained nurseries, as long as they are receiving education before and after lunch.

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit (not working)
  • Universal Credit (working and net earnings are less than £7,400 per year)*
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit Run-on, paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • If you get support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

* Please note: To be entitled to claim free school meals (FSM) when working and claiming Universal Credit, the earnings for one period should be no more than £616.67, earnings for the last two periods should be no more than £1,233.34, and the earnings for the last three periods should be no more than £1,850.00. Therefore if your earnings for one, two or three periods are below the upper earnings limits stated, you would be entitled to claim FSM. You will need to upload screen shots of each page of the relevant payment statement(s), especially the page(s) showing any deductions that are being made, with your online application, so we can then determine if you are entitled to claim free school meals. However, if your earnings for one period exceed £616.67, or if your earnings for two periods exceed £1,233.34, or if your earnings for three periods exceed £1,850.00, then you would not qualify to claim FSM.

Children who receive any of the above benefits in their own right (for example they get payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get free school meals.

Benefits of registering

Even if your child won't have the school lunch, registering helps schools receive 'pupil premium' for each eligible child, used for useful services or extra support (e.g., music lessons, school trips).

Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)

Reception, year 1, and year 2 pupils in state-funded schools are eligible for UIFSM, regardless of parents' income.

Discuss with the school staff to fill in an application form if necessary.

In addition to UIFSM, if you do meet the criteria for claiming income related or asylum seeker free school meals, as outlined above, then please submit an online claim, so that your child’s school to receive additional Pupil Premium funding from the Government.

16 to 19 funding: free meals in further education

Parents of children who are 16 and over, who are attending a further education college or a sixth form centre (not attached to a school), must apply to their child's college for free meals if they get a qualifying income listed above.

Application options

Apply online:

Use the appropriate online form based on your situation (e.g., income-related, asylum seeker, no recourse to public funds).

If eligible, staff members can also apply on behalf of parents using specific forms.

Free school meal forms for parents/carers

If you have a general enquiry about free school meals please use our contact FSM form.

Enquire about a child’s existing free school meal claim

If you are claiming any of the qualifying benefits listed above, please use this form:

Apply for income related free school meals

Or if you are an asylum seeker please use this form:

Apply for free school meals as an Asylum Seeker

Or if you have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), please use this form:

Apply for free school meals if you have no recourse to public funds (NRPF)

Free school meal forms for professionals (school staff, council employees, external organisations)

Members of staff who work at Salford schools can submit applications and enquiries on behalf of parents using our Salford schools FSM form.

Salford schools free school meal application/enquiry form

Members of staff who work at schools outside Salford can submit applications and enquiries on behalf of parents using our out of area schools FSM form.

Out of area schools free school meal application/enquiry form

Members of staff who work for Salford City Council can submit applications and enquiries on behalf of parents using the form below.

Council employees free school meal application/enquiry form

Members of staff from external organisations that support asylum seekers can submit applications and enquiries on behalf of parents using our External organisations FSM form.

External organisations free school meals application/enquiry form

Please be aware that photos of supporting documents or screen shots of online accounts can be uploaded with any of the above forms, and that we will be unable to process applications for free school meals unless we have seen the necessary proof that you are entitled to claim.

Applying by telephone:

If your entitlement can be confirmed over the phone, you can call to apply.

Otherwise, apply in person at Broughton Hub or a Gateway centre, with necessary documents.

Staff at these locations should be able to process your free school meals application on a drop-in basis.

Documents you will need to produce

If you are applying in person, please be sure to bring documentary proof that you are currently in receipt of any of the above qualifying benefits, or confirmation that you receive support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (eg IND letter or a NASS letter).

We will be unable to process your application for free school meals unless we have seen the necessary proof that you are entitled to claim.

Need more information?

If you think your child may be entitled to free school meals you can obtain further information from the Department for Education, their school, by using our contact form.

Claiming free school meals is beneficial for you and your child's school.

This page was last updated on 25 July 2023

Rate this page