Applying online for free school meals

Please read the information below before applying.

Apply online

By continuing with the link below, I confirm that I have read and that I understand the declaration below.

Download a PDF version

The online format of the free school meal application form is not identical to the paper version. If you prefer, you can download a pdf version of the paper free school meal form print it off, complete and return it.

Alternatively contact the school meals team on 01273 293497 to be sent a paper form.

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You should only use this site to apply for free school meals if your child or children attend schools within Brighton & Hove and you are in receipt of one of the benefits listed below.

From 6 April 2011, children whose parents receive one of the following benefits will be entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (IR ESA) (this benefit was introduced 27 October 2008)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs). Note - from 1 May 2009, where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school lunches.
  • the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

Children who receive any of the above benefits in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals

Please note - if you are in receipt of any Working Tax Credit you will not be eligible to apply for free school meals

Data Protection

  • Brighton & Hove City Council is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for making decisions about how your personal data will be processed and how it may be used.
  • The purposes for which your data will be processed are to enable the local authority to verify your initial and ongoing entitlement to receive free school meals and to maintain a record of eligibility.The local authority may also use the data to support services to pupils such as the provision of free school transport.
  • The information you provide will be treated confidentially at all times. The data you provide may be disclosed to CACI International who are the suppliers of the city council’s free school meals software. This will be purely for the purposes of system development, training and testing, and it will not be disclosed by them to any third party.
  • Security safeguards apply to both manual and computerised held data, and only relevant staff can access your information.
  • If you have any queries contact the Data Protection Officer tel: (01273) 291207


  • I declare that the information given on this form is true and complete and I undertake to inform the school or the local authority if my entitlement to one of the qualifying benefits is changed or terminated. I understand that I will be liable for any costs incurred in providing free school meals for my child(ren), should I fail to inform the school of the changes/termination of my benefit.
  • I agree that you will use the information I have provided to process my claim for free school lunches and will contact other sources as allowed by law to verify my initial, and ongoing, entitlement to free school lunches.
  • Notification regarding this application may be sent via email, however to do so we require your consent. By ticking the box on the online application form and providing an email address we will correspond by email. Alternatively we will contact you by phone or by post.