Free school meals

Extension of free school meals eligibility

The Government have permanently extended free school meal eligibility to children in all households with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) subject to maximum income thresholds.

Eligible groups

These groups include:

  • Zambrano carers
  • families who have no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
  • a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Chen carers
  • families holding a British National (Overseas) passport
  • spousal visa holders
  • work visa holders
  • student visa holders
  • those with no immigration status

Income thresholds

The maximum income threshold differs based on your location and the number of children that your family has.

Under the permanent extension of free school meal eligibility to all NRPF groups, the annual household income thresholds for those families able to work are:

  • £22,700 for families outside of London with 1 child
  • £26,300 for families outside of London with 2 or more children
  • £31,200 for families within London with 1 child
  • £34,800 for families within London with 2 or more children

Whether or not a person will be considered within the London or the outside London threshold will be determined by the address of the family.

If the family is living within the local authority of one of the 33 London boroughs, the London thresholds will apply. If the family does not live within one of these local authorities, the outer London thresholds will apply

Confirming NRPF status

Below are examples of how families can demonstrate their NRPF status. This list is not necessarily exhaustive and families may be able to provide alternative evidence not listed.

In all cases, family’s should complete and sign the self-declaration form confirming both their immigration category and that they are not above the maximum income threshold required for their area.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

  • Families will be able to provide a letter from the Home Office granting them leave to remain in the UK or a biometric  residence card.

Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • Families will be able to provide a letter from the Home Office or local authority confirming Section 4 support or an ASPEN card.

British National (Overseas) passport holders

  • Families will be able to show either a current BN(O) passport or visa.

Spouse, work or student visa holders  

  • Families will be able to show their visa.

Zambrano or Chen carers

  • In many (but not all) cases, the family will be able to show a derivative residence card. If they do not hold this, they must be able to show that:
    • the carer or parent is not a British citizen
    • the child is a British citizen
    • the carer is a direct relative or legal guardian of the child, and they have the primary responsibility for the child
    • there are no other members of the carers’ family in the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA) who could look after the child

Confirming income

Check the income thresholds for your area.

Families should complete a self-declaration of their income as part of their application.

To verify this, we suggest you provide one of the following:

  • payslip
  • P60
  • bank statement
  • letter from their bank
  • letter from their employer
  • letter from the local authority confirming support if applicable

NRPF free school meal application form

To apply you must complete and submit this application form.

How to submit a completed application

a. By email to [email protected] enter the subject as NRPF FSM – the completed and signed application form can be photographed or scanned and then attached to the email.

OR

b. By hand to your social worker or the child’s current school (only if in Newham)

OR

c. Post to Pupil Services (NRPF Free School Meals),
LB Newham, 1000 Dockside Road, London E16 2QU 

Pupil Services aim to process all applications within 48 hours of receipt. 

Notification of the outcome

Applicants will receive the outcome in writing and it will be sent to the child’s current school, where this is in Newham.  If the school is outside of Newham the family will need to give the outcome to the child’s school.