Free School Meals

  • Free school meals can save your household up to £418 a year per child.
  • Pupil premium – Get £1300 for your child’s school to improve education.
  • Your child is eligible for free school meals if you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits.
  • When making your application you are also applying for the pupil premium for your child’s school.

What are the qualifying benefits?

You will be entitled to apply for free school meals and/or pupil premium for your child if you or your partner receive one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (see Information on Eligibility Criteria)    
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (providing you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by the Inland Revenue)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Apply for free school meals and pupil premium

When you apply you will get an instant decision on your claim. The council will contact the school to confirm your child’s eligibility.

The Christmas Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) vouchers are due to be released on Tuesday 5 December 2023, so please check your emails to make sure you receive them.

All parents/carers of children who are eligible for Free School Meals have been sent a voucher to cover activities offered via the HAF programme (made available by Wigan Council).

The HAF programme provides free healthy food and enrichment activities to children and young people who are in receipt of benefit related free school meals during the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays. This programme has been funded in response to a number of issues that many children and families face during the school holiday periods. The main outcomes of the programme are for children to: -

  • eat more healthily over the school holidays
  • be more active during the school holidays
  • take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character, and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment
  • be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • be more engaged with school and other local services

There are lots of activities to choose from across the whole of Wigan Borough with activities ranging from sports and arts to IT and family days out. To access the list of activities, select the link on your unique email and choose the activities you wish your child(ren) to attend. Complete the booking form and the provider will be in touch to confirm your place and provide any additional information.

Further information can be found on the Wigan Council link below: -

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme (

St Helens council offer a similar programme and their details can be found on the link below: -

Holiday activities and food programme - St Helens Borough Council


Holiday Activity Scheme - Parents' Guide:

Holiday Activity and Food Scheme (HAF)




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