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Free School Meals


Free School Meal Eligibility


Children who are eligible for free school meals can get them:

  • until they finish school; or
  • if they are in school on 31 March 2023, until they finish primary or secondary school – whichever is sooner.

This is because there is currently a transition period in place until March 2023 to protect pupils eligible for free school meals to allow them to retain their eligibility until the end of their current phase of either primary or secondary education, regardless of whether their parent's circumstances change. Pupils starting school after 31 March 2023, when the transition period ends, will not receive this protection.


Not currently receiving Free School Meals for all/any of your children?


If you have a child who is not currently receiving Free School Meals who you think may be eligible please use the following link to make an online claim: http://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/sims. Your application will be checked by the national Eligibility Checking System (ECS) and you will receive an instant online decision. When completing your application please remember to enter a valid e-mail address and/or telephone number so that any queries can be resolved quickly.

Free School Meals eligibility starts from the date that you are notified by the ECS. Until that time, you will need to provide your child(ren) with a packed lunch or add money to their catering account.

Due to the transitional protection, younger children starting school after 1 April 2018 will not automatically qualify for Free School Meals just because their older siblings are receiving Free School Meals. A new application will need to be made for any children not currently on Free School Meals. More than one child can be included in each application.

Further information regarding Free School Meal eligibility can be found on the Manchester City Council website here: Free school meals | Free School Meals | Manchester City Council

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