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Cardiff Council

Free school meals

 ​​​​Primary and secondary school pupils will get free school meals if their family receives:​
  • Income Support
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Based JobsSeeker’s Allowance
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit, or
  • Child Tax Credit with an income less than £16,190
  • Universal Credit if the net household earnings is less than £7400.


*Families who get Working Tax Credit do not qualify. ​

Once you submit an application, you will be notified in writing of the outcome.

If you are eligible for free school meals, your child’s school will be notified so that they can update their records. 

Free school meals are awarded for each child separately and not for the household.​

You do not need to re-apply if your child moves to another school in the borough. When we are advised by your child’s new school that they are a pupil there then we will amend our records and inform them of your eligibility. 


Changes from 1 April 2019

​Any pupil eligible for free school meals on 1 April 2019 will stay eligible until 31 December 2023, even if their circumstances change. This is called transitional protection. 

If a pupil is eligible for free school meals under the new Universal Credit criteria from 1 April 2019, they will also stay eligible until 31 December 2023, even if their circumstances change. 

When Universal Credit has been rolled out, these pupils will continue to get free school meals until they leave their current school phase. For example, until the end of primary or secondary school. 

From 1st January 2024 new Free School Meal awards will not be protected, and any changes to circumstances may affect eligibility.

If you would like more information the Welsh Government have put together some useful information​​​​.

​ For more information about free school meals please contact us.

Contact us

Tel: 029 2087 1071​

© 2022 Cardiff Council