Infants’ parents should apply now for free school meals

APPLY NOW ... free school meals.
APPLY NOW ... free school meals.

PARENTS of infant children currently entitled to free school meals in South Tyneside are being advised to apply now for the start of the autumn term.

From September, every child in or entering reception, Year One and Year Two will receive a free school lunch under the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals initiative.

However, parents still need to apply for free school meals with their child’s school before the end of the summer term, if they are entitled to them.

This is so that children can access free milk in school under the council’s school milk scheme and so that schools receive the Pupil Premium – an additional sum of money which helps support the education of children entitled to free school meals.

Any special dietary needs should also be submitted to their child’s school before the end of the summer term.

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “Even though children in these particular groups automatically qualify for free school meals under the national initiative from September, it is important that parents still complete an application form if they are eligible for free meals at the moment.”

Application forms are available in schools, or can be downloaded at

For further information, call South Tyneside Council’s Customer Contact Centre on 427 7000 or e-mail