Free school meals

We offer a wide range of meals throughout the day starting with Breakfast Club through to a wide selection of snacks at break-time and a variety of menu options at lunchtime.

We have a team of fully trained catering staff and ensure that all of our menus follow the government nutritional guidelines.

Eating a school meal has great benefits as it:

  • Provides up to 3 of your child’s 5-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables
  • Is a nutritionally balanced meal which aids concentration in lessons
  • Is a great way to introduce new foods to your child
  • Helps your child grow into a fit and healthy adult
  • Avoids the hassle of preparing a packed lunch

On some days, we replace the standard menus with special theme days to celebrate, for example, European Languages Day, Chinese New Year, St. George’s Day and a summer beach party!

Learners have been involved in competitions to design a menu through their Food Technology lessons. The winners have then had their meals cooked for the whole school.

Throughout the year there are a variety of different promotions available including collecting stamps for iTunes vouchers.

The school operates a cashless system. This is a computer controlled cashless way of paying for school lunches. The system will electronically recognise each individual learner, hold individual cash balances, record cash spent and cash received, record where money is spent, on what food, on any specific date and time of day. 

See School Gateway for more information

Packed lunches

Learners can choose to bring a packed lunch if they wish. All learners can sit together whether they bring a packed lunch or purchase a meal from the school canteen.

Some children are eligible for free school meals. If you are a parent / carer in receipt of one of the following benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals.

Qualifying incomes

Free school meals are only available if you get one of the following: 

  • Universal Credit - and your earned income is less than £7,400 a year, after tax and not including any benefits 
  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance 
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance 
  • Child Tax Credit, providing you are do not get Working Tax Credit, and your annual gross income is less than £16,190 
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit 
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 

If you get Working Tax Credits you will not be eligible unless you are receiving the four week 'run on' payment after stopping work. 

Free school meals are available for pupils at local authority maintained primary and secondary schools, including academies.

They are not available for children at private or independent schools. 

They are also available for eligible households with: 

  • Children at local authority maintained nurseries, providing they receive education before and after lunch 
  • Students aged between 16 and 19 who go to Elms Bank Specialist Arts College sixth form 
  • Students who receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right 

If your income changes 

If you get free school meals and your income increases above the qualifying limits your children will still get free meals until at least 31 March 2025. 

If they are still at school on 31 March 2025, free school meals will continue until the end of year 6 if they are at primary school, or the end of year 11 if they are at secondary school. 

This protection only covers children included in the original claim. Any younger siblings who start school after your income exceeds the thresholds will not get free school meals. 



Free School Meals Team
7 Whittaker Street
M26 2DT

0161 253 5858

Free school meals - Bury Council


Housing Benefits
Bolton Council
PO Box 4

0120 433 1590

Free school meals and help with school uniform – Bolton Council


Revenues and Benefits Unit
Manchester City Council
Number One
First Street
M1 5DE

0161 219 6100

Free school meals - Manchester City Council 
(if you live in Manchester but your child attends Unsworth Academy please apply via Bury Council)


Unity House
Civic Centre
Chorley Road
M25 5DA

0161 909 6508

Free school meals - Salford City Council