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Includes information on who can have one and what to do if your school doesn't provide them.

First published:
5 September 2022
Last updated:


The aim of the Free Breakfast in Primary Schools scheme is to provide children with a healthy breakfast before the start of the school day.

Children who have the opportunity to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast prior to the start of the school day are healthier and are more likely to achieve their full educational potential.

About the scheme

All children who go to a primary school which is maintained by a local authority can have a free breakfast at school, if their school provides free breakfasts. You can ask the school’s headteacher and governing body to start providing free breakfasts if the school is maintained by the local authority. If the school feels that enough parents and carers want free breakfasts for their children, they can ask the local authority to provide them. The local authority must provide the school with free breakfasts unless it considers it unreasonable to do so.

It is important that you tell the school before your child has free breakfasts if he or she has any special dietary needs, including allergies and intolerances. The school will then make sure that all the people who supervise the free breakfasts are aware of this.

The Free Breakfast in Primary Schools scheme does not provide childcare. Children are supervised during breakfast. This is to make sure that they can safely choose their breakfast and eat it before the start of the school day.

Schools must not charge for any part of free breakfasts. However, schools may charge for childcare before the free breakfast session starts. This is often referred to as ‘wraparound childcare’. This childcare is separate from the Free Breakfast in Primary School scheme.


You can apply for a free breakfast for your child, by contacting their primary school to find out if they run a breakfast club.

If your child’s primary school does not currently run a free breakfast club, the school will need to apply directly to their local authority.