You may be able to claim benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) for your child/ren if you meet the Government's eligibility criteria.

For information about activities and food during school holidays, please visit

If you have any questions about the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme available during the main school holidays (Summer, Christmas, Easter), please call the helpline – 01902 916994 (during office hours Mondays to Fridays, excluding Bank Holidays) – which opens shortly before the main school holidays.

Free School Meals application

City of Wolverhampton Council can check your FSM application, if your child is at a school that uses our FSM Eligibility Checking Service.

If your child already has an FSM claim in place, please do not apply again.

If you aren’t sure if your child has an FSM claim in place, please ask your child’s school.

If your child does not already have an FSM claim in place, the easiest way to apply is through your child’s school.

Other help and support

City of Wolverhampton Council does not provide uniform grants. Uniform policies and costs vary from school to school. Please contact your child’s school with any questions about school uniform.

For information about support available for all City of Wolverhampton residents, please visit:

Please visit for events and services within Wolverhampton that support children, young people and their parents/carers.

If you need urgent help with providing food for your child/ren, please contact your child/ren’s school/s. Or, email Stay Safe Be Kind: or call 01902 290241. The helpline is open during office hours, Mondays to Fridays, excluding Bank Holidays.

Who is eligible?

These are the Government’s eligibility criteria for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM):

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of 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 - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year. This is equal to £616.67 a month (after tax and not including any benefits you get) to qualify for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM)

If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit (apart from during the four-week run-on period), you will not qualify for FSM, even if you have a low income.

If you are receiving Child Tax Credit only, your annual income must be less than £16,190 to qualify.

If your family has No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), you may also be entitled to free meals. Please speak with your child’s school about this.

Apply for free school meals

To apply for Free School Meals, please speak to your child's school.

You will need to provide the school with:

  • your full name
  • date of birth
  • and National Insurance (NI) number or National Asylum Support Service (NASS) reference number

Your child's school will then share your details with City of Wolverhampton Council. We check eligibility using a secure Government website.

If we find you eligible for FSM, your child's school will let you know. If we don’t find you eligible, we will continue to check your eligibility.

Schools receive valuable Government funding (Pupil Premium) for every child registered for FSM. Even if your child chooses not to eat school meals, we would still encourage you to register.

Starting or moving school

If your child is due to start school in Reception in September, you will need to provide your details (full name, date of birth and National Insurance or National Asylum Support Service number) to your child’s school. Your details will be shared with us for eligibility checking in readiness for the start of the new academic year.

If your child is due to move school and already has a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim in place, you do not need to apply again (unless your child has left school in England since their FSM claim was recorded).

Your child’s entitlement to free meals should be communicated between schools through their Common Transfer File (CTF). Schools in Wolverhampton can also contact us to confirm any claims on our secure database.

Your child’s new school may request additional information from you for your child’s claim to be recorded.

School menus

Please ask your child/ren’s school/s any questions you have about your child/ren’s school meals.

Arrangements and school meal providers vary across the City.

Please visit School Menus for information about school meals provided by the Council.

Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)

Under the Government’s UIFSM scheme, all children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 can enjoy school meals during term-time for free, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.

UIFSM are not the same as benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM).

You do not need to register for UIFSM.

Your child's school may ask if your child will be taking meals so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

Transitional Protection

If your child has a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim either:

  • valid as of 1 April 2018
  • added between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2025

They will remain eligible for FSM until the end of the phase of education they are in as of 31 March 2025 (primary or secondary).

This applies even if you have a change in circumstance.

It does not apply to claimants who either:

  • qualify through National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
  • receive Pension Credit

If you no longer qualify through NASS or Pension Credit, you should tell your child’s school or the FSM Eligibility Checking Service direct. We will then recheck your eligibility.

Transitional Protection does not apply to siblings who don’t have a claim registered in their own name. This means some of your children may be entitled to free meals but others aren’t.

Contact us

If you have any other questions about free meals, please:

Tel: (01902) 554283

Write: Free School Meals, Facilities Management, City of Wolverhampton Council, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RR