Free school meals – help us campaign by completing our survey

2 mins read

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Tags: free school meals, disabled children, disadvantage

We are asking parents to complete our short survey about free school meals, as part of our campaign to ensure disabled children are not missing out.

If your child is entitled to universal or benefit related free school meals please complete our short survey which will take 5-10 minutes of your time. As a thank you there is also a chance to win a £25 voucher.

Una Summerson, Head of Campaigns at Contact, said: “There are hundreds of UK families with disabled children having to provide a school lunch when it should be free. They are being unfairly disadvantaged.

“We want to understand the scale and impact of disabled children missing out on free school meals, through our short survey. We will use the information to help us support a parent-led campaign for fair access to free school meals.”

Who is entitled to a free school meal? 

Pupils in England and Wales in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible for universal free school meals. In Scotland all pupils in P1-P5 are entitled to universal free school meals. Wales and London are expanding universal free school meals in September, but we are asking about the situation now – March 2023.

Pupils aged 4-16 who live in a household on low income and in receipt of certain income-related benefits are entitled to a free school meal. Each nation has a different threshold of low income. Find out if your child is entitled here.

Please help us by completing our short survey on free school meals if your child is entitled.

Reduce costs and improve learning

Research shows that free school meals reduce cost of living difficulties at the same time as improving results for all children.

Yet there are many disabled children missing out, because they can’t access a free school meal in the regular way. Some are not in school because they are waiting for a suitable place, others are unable to attend school due to physical or mental health conditions. And some are on special diets not catered for at school.

That’s why Contact is supporting a parent-led campaign calling for food vouchers to be given to eligible disabled children currently missing out.

Please help us by completing our short survey on free school meals if your child is entitled.