How can my children receive school meals?

Your child, or children, may qualify for free school meals if you are able to meet the following criteria: You or your partner must have a child or children for whom you receive child benefit who is in full time education, under 19 years of age and who attends a local authority school or sixth form. You and your partner must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA – IB)
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA Income Related)
  • Child Tax Credit – but not Working Tax Credit – and your income for Tax Credit purposes must be less than £16,190.00 (details are shown on your Tax Credit award notice)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

If this applies to you, please complete our free school meals application form and return to the address shown. If you satisfy the requirements for your child / children to receive Free School Meals, and submit the information required, the school(s) that your child / children attend will be informed of this and Free Meals will be available immediately. Parents can be sure that pupils who receive a free school meal are not singled out in any way.


If you stop receiving one of the qualifying benefits; you stop being responsible for the child/children concerned; or your Tax Credit entitlement changes, you MUST inform the Council Benefit Section immediately.

This information has been taken from the Gateshead Council Website ( If you have any queries or require further information please contact the council by following the link to their website above or by using the links at the right side of this page.

To make an application for free school meals please select the button below to download the application form.