School meals

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – school closures

Go to GOV.UK: closure of educational settings – information for parents and carers. Some schools are open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. Check the website of your child's primary school, secondary school or special school.

Government guidance to help parents continue their children's education includes:

Go to GOV.UK: online resources for home education for websites to help children learn at home. BBC Bitesize offers daily lessons.

Go to GOV.UK: GCSEs, AS and A level awarding for information on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.

Department for Education (DfE) coronavirus helpline

: 0800 046 8687


For early years up to universities, plus parents – open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Free school meals

Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you receive either:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit – provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Universal Credit – provided your total net earnings are no more than £616.67 each month, starting from 1 April 2018
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Your child must be attending a maintained school in the Thurrock area. If your child is attending school outside of Thurrock, you must apply to the council for the area in which they attend school.

All applications will be checked. We may ask you to provide evidence. You must supply the information requested within 2 weeks so we can process your application.

While schools are closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to claim free school meals for your child if you have 'no recourse to public funds' – for example, you cannot claim benefits.

Apply online

Simply login to My Account for education and childcare, select 'Free school meals' and then 'Apply online'. You can create an account if you don't already have one.

My Account - education and childcare

Changes to your circumstances

You need to tell us when there is a change of:

  • school
  • address
  • benefit or a return to work
  • responsibility for the child

If you do not tell us about these changes you may be liable to refund any costs incurred

Contact us below, making sure you include your full name, address and the name of the child or children for whom you are claiming free school meals.

Education Awards and Benefits
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL