Free School Meals

Were you entitled to Free School Meals (FSMs) at school? If so, you may be entitled to Free Meals whilst studying at college. Who is eligible?

Students aged 16-18 at the start of their course (or aged 19-25 with an EHCP) and live in a household in receipt of the benefits listed below. Eligible students will be allocated £3.50 to your cashless account each college day. The £3.50 can be spent in either the Rotherfield or the Deanfield canteen. If you are going on a college day trip or will be attending a work experience placement students can contact the Chartwells manager in advance to organise alternatives. 

Please ensure you have downloaded, saved and understood the 2023-24 Declaration for Financial Assistance before applying.


Financial Assistance Declaration 2023-24.pdf


Proof of benefits cannot be demonstrated by bank statements and we cannot recognise any other benefit other than those mentioned below. Evidence must be submitted in the form of scanned PDF documents, all pages of the letter/statement must be included. We cannot accept photographs or screenshots. For assistance with scanning please visit our the Bursary Fund page. 



Universal Credit Assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent downloaded Universal Credit statements. Monthly statements must not exceed earnings of £616.67 and an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400.00.
Income Support Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)/Jobcentre Plus dated within one month of application showing breakdown of income support payment
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Letter from DWP/Jobcentre Plus dated within one month of application
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance Letter from DWP/Jobcentre Plus dated within one month of application
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Asylum seekers will need to provide a National Asylum and Support Service (NASS) support notice or IS96 document including details of authority providing support under part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. You will be required to supply: 

  • NASS reference number
  • Port reference number
  • Name of authority
The guarantee element of Pension Credit Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice
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 All pages of the TC602 Inland Revenue tax credit award notice for the current tax year
Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit  Letter from HMRC detailing the leave/gap in employment


Did you qualify for Free School Meals at your previous school? You will need to contact your school to confirm your Free School Meal eligibility via email or post and then forward this to


  1. Email with the required accompanying evidence
  2. You will be emailed the relevant Free School Meals application form to complete
  3. Once both evidence has been received and the online application form has been completed you will receive email confirmation and further details on what to do next. Please check your email's spam/clutter folders.