Free School Meals

Free School Meals - How much could you save?

All children starting school in the reception class, Year 1 or Year 2 in a state maintained primary school, will get a free meal at school regardless of income.

For children attending a school nursery, junior classes - Years 3 to 6 or a secondary school, parents will have to pay for the school meals. To qualify for free meals, you must meet the eligibility criteria listed below. If your child qualifies for free school meals you can save up to £10 a week or £390 a year. 

Pupil Premium

When your child starts school and you meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals, we can claim the Pupil Premium funding from the Department of Education to help your child learn. You should apply for this funding by registering to apply online for Pupil Premium within Hackney Citizens Portal in the same way as applying for free school meals.


It doesn’t matter where you live as long as your child goes to school in Hackney. To qualify, your child must be in school and you must be getting one of the following benefits:

A child over 16 getting any of these benefits is also eligible to receive free school meals.

Asylum seekers   

To qualify for free school meals, asylum seekers must provide their:

  • IND letter
  • IND card
  • Social services letter or NASS letter

How to apply

If your child attends a school in Hackney, you must apply by completing an application form. You only have to apply once. We will check your entitlement against information held by the Department for Education on a regular basis so that you don’t have to renew your application every year or provide proof of your entitlement.

You will need to first register to apply online for Free School Meals / Pupil Premium within Hackney Citizens Portal

The Hackney Citizens Portal is the quickest way to apply for free school meals/pupil premium and confirm your eligibility. 

After you have completed your application you will receive an email to confirm your eligibility, this you can take to the school. We will also send out a notification to the school of your child’s FSM and Pupil Premium eligibility.

If your child attends a school in another borough, you will have to make enquiries at the school to find out how you apply for free school meals.

Step-by-step Guide to Applying for Free School Meals