School meals

Find out where hot lunches are on offer and if your child is eligible for free school dinners.

Primary schools

We offer hot school meals at 80 per cent of our primary schools. A school meal costs £2.20.

Secondary schools

We do not currently provide a service for secondary schools in Oxfordshire. See your school's website for details of meal provision.

If your school does not offer hot meals, see the Directgov pages on school lunches and nutrition for healthy packed lunch ideas.

Free school meals

All children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 can receive school meals at no cost to you.

Year 3/Key Stage 2 and older

Free school meals are offered to children whose parents receive:

  • Income Support
  • income based Employment & Support Allowance
  • income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit provided your annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue does not exceed £16,190 and provided that Working Tax Credit is not included.
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

We are not allowed to recognise any other benefit other than those mentioned above.

How to apply

Ask for an application form from your child’s school, complete it and return to the school together with proof of benefit so that your school can assess eligibility. Proof of benefit cannot be demonstrated by a bank statement or photocopies, only by an original of the following:

  • Income Support - letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)/Jobcentre Plus dated within one month of application showing breakdown of income support payment.
  • Income Based Employment & Support Allowance - letter from DWP/Jobcentre Plus dated within one month of application.
  • Child Tax Credit (without Working Tax Credit and 'annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue' of below the threshold figure for the year) - All pages of the TC602 Inland Revenue tax credit award notice for the current tax year.
  • State pension credit - Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice.

Asylum seekers will need to provide a National Asylum and Support Service (NASS) support notice or IS96 document including details of authority providing support under part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. You will be required to supply:

  • NASS reference number
  • Port reference number
  • Name of authority

When to apply

You should apply to your school when you first start to receive benefit as claims are not backdated. Your eligibility will be reviewed at least every six months by the school.

You should notify the school immediately if any changes occur to your benefits.