Further information about free school meals

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


How long will my free school meal application take?

Applications will usually be processed within three working days of being received. However, we do try to process applications much quicker.  In peak periods, such as the start of term, it may take a little longer to process your application.

Change in financial circumstances

Anyone who has been eligible for free school meals at any point since 1 April 2018 will remain eligible until summer 2023. This applies even if your earnings increase above the threshold or you stop your claim. After the rollout period ends, if you no longer meet the criteria your child will still remain eligible. This will be until they complete their current phase of education (e.g. primary or secondary school).

Do I need to apply again when my child goes to secondary school?

You do not need to reapply for free school meals when your child transfers to secondary school. Children who get free school meals at primary school will get their entitlement transferred to secondary school.

Appeal a free school meals decision

Free school meals is a statutory benefit. The criteria are determined by central government. There is no appeal process. If you feel that your application was incorrectly refused, we are happy to look at it again. We may ask you to provide hard copy evidence of your entitlement. If we are can't determine your eligibility, we may recommend that you discuss this with the appropriate agencies.  For example Department for Work and Pensions.

Type of food provided

Schools in Cornwall are responsible for arranging their own school meal provision. But, they must meet the national nutritional standards. Please contact your child’s school for more details of the food they provide.

Cornwall Council believes that when children eat better, they achieve better. Children are more likely to concentrate in the classroom in the afternoon after eating a healthy school lunch. They should be offered in a pleasant environment. This also improves their health and their learning about making better food choices.

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