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Free school meals

The education welfare service administers free school meal eligibility in Bedford Borough for children attending Bedford Borough schools. The child must attend a school in Bedford Borough although may live outside the local authority.

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

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • younger than the compulsory age for starting school
  • in full-time education

Please complete a paper free school meal application form (Word, 4MB) or apply online.

Eligibility

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.

If you change your address or have any questions please email education.welfareservice@bedford.gov.uk or telephone 01234 228948

Infant free school meals in England

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in:

  • reception class
  • year one
  • year two

Tell your local authority if you also get any of the qualifying benefits and complete a universal free school meal registration form (Word, 164KB). Your child’s school can get extra funding if you do.