Free School Meals Administration

What our service does

We administer the Government Free School Meals policy to determine free school meal eligibility for pupils attending Bedford Borough schools.

Location of our service

Applications are processed at Borough Hall, but forms can be requested over the telephone 01234 228948, at all Bedford Borough schools, Borough Hall reception and online.

Who our service provides for

A child may be able to get free school meals if their parent/carer receives any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State 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
Children who get any of the above benefits in their own right (ie they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get free school meals.
Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be able to get free school meals.

Under the Universal Free School Meal Policy all children attending schools in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are now entitled to a Free School Meal, no matter what the family circumstances.

How to start using our service

If you have a child attending a Bedford Borough school and you believe that you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply. Please complete an online application form via the Bedford Borough website, or alternatively, you can obtain one from a Bedford Borough school or by ringing 01234 228948.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

If you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit then you will be eligible.

How we communicate with our service users

Parents are able to contact the service directly with any queries they may have. Letters are also used to communicate with service users. Schools are usually happy to support parents with completing an application if there are any difficulties. We also use posters and leaflets to try and ensure the correct information is provided.

General Contact Information

Please ring 01234 228948 for guidance or information about free school meal eligibility.

Contact for more information

Sylvia Dwyer
Education Welfare Support Officer
5th Floor, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 9AP
01234 228948
Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday (Tel messages 24 hours)

Record Last Reviewed On: 09/12/2015