Free School Meals in Bradford

Free School Meals in Bradford

Bradford Council offers a checking and administration service for Free School Meals. The team processes all applications and queries from parents and notifies schools of the children that are currently eligible.

Authority maintained schools receive the service via their funding arrangements. Academy schools are charged annually for the service. If you do not currently use our Service and you would like to discuss how we can help you, please contact Paul Bland.

Primary to Secondary Movers

We will be starting to move children over to their secondary school w/c 17th June.  We need to start these before the end of term, to make sure we have dealt with as many as possible before September. 

Primary schools – If you receive an email or a child is showing on your list with an end date of 31/08/24, please continue to provide FSM until the end of the summer term.

Secondary schools – You will start to see pupils on your list with a start date of 1st September (this is a generic date).  Please inform us if a pupil is not going to be starting at your school in September.

If you have any queries, please contact the team on 01274 434477 or email


September 2024 starters

As the allocation of school places have now gone out to parents for September Starters, we are now receiving Free School Meal applications for these children. 

They will start to appear on your lists with a start date of 1st September 2024.  If you think the information is incorrect, please contact us as soon as possible. 

At the start of the Autumn term, please review your full list and inform us if any children have not started at your school.

Applications for Free School Meals

  • All applications from parents should be made on the Council’s online application form. This form will give an immediate result and tell applicants if they qualify or not.
  • Please do not send us any other type of application form (eg the Pupil Premium Registration form), all applications should be made as above
  • Information on Free School Meals is on the Council's website at  You may want to publish this link on your school website, newsletters etc as it provides useful information for parents and carers.

Guide To Using Online Free School Meal Data

  • Details of children who are currently eligible for Free School Meals are available to schools who use our service via the Bradford Schools Online secure area for each school. This information is up to date and real time.
  • Data may be accessed by logging into Bradford Schools Online. Click on your name in the top right hand of the screen and then enter “Maintenance Tools”, “Free School Meals”.
  • Data is available for Level 1 and Level 2 users

School Starters

  • Year 6 children moving from primary to secondary school are notified to us by the Council’s School Admissions Team, and changes will be made to our systems during the summer break
  • At the start of the Autumn term, please make sure you check your list on Bradford Schools Online thoroughly.  If you have any corrections or queries please contact the team.
  • Can you please inform us of any children that have left your school so we can remove them from your list.  We do not get notified of these from any other sources

In Year school transfers

  • If a child has transferred to your school “in year” and you are aware that they were previously claiming Free School Meals, please either ask the parent to make a new online application with us or contact the team by phone or email, and we will update your school list as appropriate.

Free School Meal Eligibility – and transitional protection

Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided they 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 Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

In addition, the following pupils will be protected against losing their free school meals as follows:

  • Since 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants have continued to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This applies even if their earnings rise above the threshold during that time.
  • In addition, any pupil gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals until March 2025.
  • After March 2025, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary)


Pupils joining a school with existing protected siblings already there must apply for Free School Meals in the normal way. The existence of a protected sibling already in school does not automatically mean the new child will receive a Free School Meal


Infant Free School Meals

  • Although all children in reception class, and years 1 & 2 currently get a free meal, it’s still important that families on low incomes apply for means tested free school meals as this will provide the school with additional funding.
  • Eligible families may also be able to access other funding based on Free School Meals, such as the Holiday Activity and Food Programme and Household Support Funding.
  • Please advise parents (where applicable) to make an application using our online application form if they are low income and have children in reception, year 1& 2


Government Guidance on Free School Meals



Contact Us


 01274 434477, please do NOT give this telephone number out to parents

Page owned by Paul Bland, last updated on 10/06/2024. This page has been viewed 61,933 times.