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.

If you believe your child is eligible, complete this application form and submit it to your child’s school. This application form is for use by schools within the borough of Reading only.

If approved, your child will receive pupil premium free school meals. It may also entitle your child to other benefits, such as attendance on Holiday Activity and Food events.

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.

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:

Additional support for Reading residents

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 at a school in the borough of Reading are able to access holiday activities with lunches provided through the Holiday Activity and Food scheme.

Children are able to enjoy four-hour activity sessions, four days a week during each week of holiday (max of four weeks during summer breaks). Each day also includes a healthy lunch.

More than 10,000 spaces have been arranged for Reading children since the scheme began. Families can register and find more details on our HAF page.

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

Cost of Living Vouchers and help with money matters

The Cost of Living voucher scheme is administered by Reading Borough Council. Please see its Money Matters page, which has comprehensive details, plus advice and support, including help with energy and food costs, help with clothing, where to find warm spaces in Reading and much more.

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:

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

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