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Free School Meals

Is your child eligible for free school meals?

Your child could be eligible for free school meals if you or your partner receive one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • Universal Credit – your household earned annual income must be less than £7,400 after tax and not including any benefits
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit – with no Working Tax Credit and your annual household income is no more than £16,190 as assessed by the Inland Revenue

If you are not sure you can check if you are eligible using

Further information for Warrington residents –

Further information for Salford residents –


Free School Meals in the Dining Areas

Research suggests that up to 40% of children entitled to free school meals do not take free meals due to embarrassment or stigma. Parents and carers should be aware that free school meals have changed a lot in recent year.

We operate a cashless catering system in school. Students entitled to free school meals have their allowance added to their account each school day just before lunchtime. Parents of student who pay for their school meals add money to their account using ParentPay. All students pay for their lunch at the till in the same way. There is no way of knowing who is entitled to free school meals unless students share that information with each other.

Some important things to know about free school meals allowance:

  • We base our school menus around the daily allowance so students will always be able to purchase a full meal with their allowance.
  • It is a daily entitlement, so cannot be rolled over if it is not used.
  • It is only available at lunchtime.

A significant part of school funding is based on the number of students eligible for free school meals so taking up your entitlement will not only help your child, it will also help school.

Moving from primary school to secondary

If your child is year 6 and is due to start at Birchwood Community High School in September and currently receives free school meals at their primary school, you will need to contact you home Local Authority to tell them your child’s new school. This will ensure that we are able to provide your child with a free school meal as soon as they start in September.

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