You could save up to £400 a year with free school meals for your child.

School meals can also save you time and provide peace of mind that your child is enjoying a healthy, fresh, and nutritious meal at lunchtime. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • Meals are packed full of goodness, with at least two of your child’s five-a-day.
  • They help to develop your children’s social skills and table manners.
  • Evidence demonstrates that regular consumption of school dinners can improve educational attainment.
  • They save you time! No shopping for sandwiches or preparing packed lunches.
  • You get peace of mind knowing your child is getting a healthy nutritious cooked meal.

School meals are free for reception, year 1 and year 2 – why do I still need to apply for a free school meal? This protection will apply until your child leaves primary school, so applying even whilst your child is receiving Universal Infant Free School meals is important, it might save you years of future costs!

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 get free school meals, but if you receive one of the benefits listed above you should still apply for a free school meal as you may also get help with:

  • the cost of residential school trips (speak to your school about this).
  • travel costs to school. See our school travel page for help with travel to school.
  • music lessons at school. The lessons must be provided by Barnsley Music Service to qualify.
  • free school milk.

Additionally, for each child registered for free school meals, schools will receive a pupil premium of £1,345 (primary schools) or £955 (secondary schools) per year. This is additional money for your child’s school. From April 2018 the criteria used to determine which pupils are eligible for free school meals was updated to reflect the introduction of Universal Credit and the phasing out of other income-based benefits. To ensure families are not disadvantaged during the rollout, protection arrangements have been put in place.

Find out more?

Additional information is available on the Barnsley Council Website, click here to view this information 

How do I apply?

Apply for free school meals if you live in Barnsley

If you live in Barnsley and your child goes to school in Barnsley, Bradford, or Kirklees, click the button below and fill in the application form.

If you live in Barnsley, but your child goes to school in Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield, Leeds or Wakefield, you should apply to the council in the town where your child’s school is situated.