School Meals

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals.

However, if you receive any of the following, your child may be eligible for free school meals after this time:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income of no more than £16,190
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit.

Note: If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment ceases, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your child/children are entitled to free school meals.

If your child is eligible, complete this application form and submit it to your child’s school.

We partner with Caterlink for school meals – if you would like to know about the menus please visit their website.

For any more information, email our team:

Support for Reading residents in summer 2022

With the cost of living continuing to rise fast, Brighter Futures for Children and Reading Borough Council are committed to doing everything we can to support households in Reading though these difficult times, particularly those impacted the most.

Below are some of the ways we are doing that:

Holiday Activity and Food scheme

Reading families with children who are eligible for pupil premium free school meals are able to access holiday camps with lunches provided through the Holiday Activity and Food scheme.

Children are able to enjoy four-hour sessions, four days a week for four weeks. More than 10,000 spaces have been arranged for Reading children and there are still places available for secondary school aged children, aged 12-16. Families can register and find more details on our HAF page.

Families with children under school age can access a range of free summer activities provided by Reading’s Children’s Centres. Visit our Reading Children’s Centres pages for details.


  • A payment of £49 per family is being posted to around 4,000 Reading families with school-aged children who are eligible for pupil premium free school meals or vulnerable children up to nursery age, and care leavers.
  • Payments of £98 per individual are being sent to around 4,300 older residents receiving state pension and who are on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, or who are in receipt of pension credit. Reading Borough Council already holds a list of eligible individuals and will contact them directly.

Grant support to local community organisations

Reading Borough Council has supplied additional funding to the following organisations to support other vulnerable families and individuals with food and household essentials:

An additional £150,000 grant support has been allocated to Citizens Advice Reading to support vulnerable individuals or families with energy vouchers and energy packs. A total of £10,000 is being provided to support residents with their housing arrears.

Funding is allocated to Reading Borough Council by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of its Household Support Fund. The HAF scheme is co-ordinated by Brighter Futures for Children on behalf of the council.