Check the website of your child's primary school, secondary school or special school for latest information and advice. For general guidance, go to GOV.UK: what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges.
The government system we use to assess eligibility for free school meals is currently unavailable. This means there may be a delay in processing applications as it may take up to 10 working days for eligibility to be confirmed, but we are continuing to process applications as a matter of priority.
Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you receive either:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit – provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
- Universal Credit – provided your total net earnings are no more than £616.67 each month, starting from 1 April 2018
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Your child must be attending a maintained school in the Thurrock area. If your child is attending school outside of Thurrock, you must apply to the council for the area in which they attend school.
All applications will be checked. We may ask you to provide evidence. You must supply the information requested within 2 weeks so we can process your application.
While schools are closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to claim free school meals for your child if you have 'no recourse to public funds' – for example, you cannot claim benefits.
Following an update to our online service on 16 July 2020, you will need to create a new login account when you first apply for free school meals after this date.
To create a new account, use the link below and select 'create an account’. Your login accounts for other Thurrock Council services are not affected.
Changes to your circumstances
You need to tell us when there is a change of:
- benefit or a return to work
- responsibility for the child
If you do not tell us about these changes you may be liable to refund any costs incurred
Contact us below, making sure you include your full name, address and the name of the child or children for whom you are claiming free school meals.