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Hertfordshire County Council

Free lunches for all infants and for older children whose family gets certain benefits.

Children in Reception class, Year 1 and Year 2

Your child can get a free lunch at school if they're in Reception class, Year 1 or Year 2.

And if you register, your school could get extra money to help pupils.

Have your National Insurance number or Home Office number to hand when you apply.


Children in Year 3 or older

Your child could get a free school meal if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (as long as you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and you don't get more than £16,190 a year)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit (with annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax and not including any benefits you get).

Apply today if you receive any of these benefits.  It takes 5 mins and in most cases we can tell you straightaway if your child can get free meals at school.

Have your National Insurance number or Home Office number to hand when you apply.

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until 2022, or until they finish their current phase of schooling (primary or secondary), if that's after 2022.

Nursery children

Nursery school children aren't entitled to free school meals. Discuss lunch arrangements direct with your nursery.


Cheaper music lessons, bus and train travel

Did you know you might be able to get help?

Apply for help with music lessons and school travel.


  • Music lesson costs – we could pay 50% or 100% of your child's music lessons with Hertfordshire Music Service, depending on your income and the benefits you get.  This is for children in Year 3 and above. Check with your child's school first to see if music lessons are available.
  • Bus travel – a  SaverCard lets a young person (11-18 years old) travel by bus for half price.  You might be able to get one for free.
  • Train travel – a TrainCard lets students in sixth form or college (16-18 years old) get 1/3 off their train tickets.  You might be able to get one for free.

You may be able to get this extra help if you receive one of the benefits listed above or you get:

  • Child Tax Credit, payable at a higher rate than the family element (more than £547.50)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Council Tax Support (not including second adult rebate).


School uniforms

We don't provide school uniform grants.  Speak to your child's school to see if they can help.