If your child is missing out on free school meals

Resources to help eligible families claim the free school meals they’re entitled to, but missing out on.

Download our free legal guide

Human rights lawyers have written a free school meals guide. The guide explains how you can access free school meals via alternative arrangements, depending on your situation.

Template letters

Thanks to campaign leader Natalie Hay fundraising £8000, we’ve worked with human rights lawyers to produce template letters. These will help you ask for free school meals for your child.

Which template you’ll use depends on your personal circumstances. Use the flowchart below by answering the questions, and we’ll direct you to the correct template letter.

Of, if you know what you’re doing, skip past the flowchart to see all template letters.

Use our template letter flow chart

All letter templates

If you’re not sure which template to use, go back to the Free School Meals flowchart. Answer the questions to find out which template you need to download and complete.

For families in England and Wales

Template A – If your child attends an independent or non-maintained school, and you want to ask the local authority to use its power to provide free school meals.

Template B – If your child has Education Otherwise Than At School (EOTAS) and you want to ask the local authority to provide free school meals.

Template C – For children at a state-maintained school, academy or free school; eligible for free school meals because they are in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2; missing out due to their disability, and you want to ask for an alternative.

Template D – For children at a state-maintained school, academy or free school; eligible for free school meals because of financial reasons; missing out due to their disability, and you want to ask for an alternative.

If the school declines your request, use our follow-up template letter.

Template E – If your child attends a state-maintained school, academy or free school; is missing out on free school meals because they have been expelled, and you want to ask the local authority to provide an alternative.

Template F – If your child is not currently registered at an education setting because they are awaiting a placement in a specialist setting and you want to ask the local authority to provide an alternative.

If you are unsure what type of school your child attends, find out by visiting the Government’s schools service page.

For families in Scotland

Template G – If your child is eligible for free school meals but isn’t receiving them because of their disability, and you want to ask the school to provide an alternative.

If you live in Northern Ireland

Please email imogen.steele@contact.org.uk for advice.

The template letter for post 16 provision is coming soon.

If your child receives elective home education, unfortunately you are not eligible for free school meals.