Assistance & Benefits

Free school meals

How much could you save?

You can save up to £10 a week or £390 a year, if your child qualifies for free school meals.


It doesn’t matter where you live as long as your child goes to school in Hackney. To qualify, your child must be in school and you must be getting one of the following benefits:

A child over 16 getting any of these benefits is also eligible to receive free school meals.

Asylum seekers   

To qualify for free school meals, asylum seekers must provide their:

  • IND letter;
  • IND card;
  • Social services letter; or
  • NASS letter.

How to apply

If your child goes to school in Hackney, you must apply to Hackney Learning Trust. You only have to apply once. Your entitlement will be checked against information held by the Department for Education on a regular basis so that you don’t have to renew your application every year or provide proof of your entitlement.

Help with home to school travel fares

Your child can get help with tube and/or train fares if they live in Hackney.

How it works

  • Children will get a travel card each term
  • We will pay for the cheapest form of transport from home to school
  • You must live in Hackney to apply
  • If you have been income assessed you must re-apply every year to check that you still qualify
  • You can appeal if you are refused help with travel costs

Children may be entitled to free transport if:

  • they have special educational needs, disability or mobility problems with no school place near their home;


  • they cannot walk to school, even though it is within the normal walking distance of two miles (if aged 5 -7) or three miles (if aged 8 or over);


  • they cannot reasonably be expected to walk a particular route (for example through a park, cemetery or along a towpath) even though the school is within the normal walking distances;


  • they have special educational needs and attend a school where there are no arrangements for boarding at or near the school; or


  • their religion or belief means that the nearest suitable school is outside the distances.

Income assessed parents

Children may also be able to get free transport where they are either eligible for Free School Meals or have parents in receipt of their maximum level of Working Tax Credit, there are not three or more suitable nearer school places, and the school place is 2-6 miles from home.

Secondary school children attending a school on grounds of religion or belief may be able to get free transport where the school is more than two miles and less than 15 miles from home, and there is no suitable alternative school nearer home.

Disabled parents

We will provide free travel to school for primary school children if their parent has a disability that prevents them from taking them to school.

If you get transport assistance as part of your disability living allowance, your child is not entitled to free travel.

Further information

School journey grant

Who is the grant for?

Kench Hill Charity provides this grant to Hackney pupils and students on study visits to Kench Hill Centre during term-time.

More information

Clothing grant at age 11


Your child can get a clothing grant if they are transferring from primary to secondary school  at 11 years old.

To qualify, you must be getting one of the benefits below:

How to apply

Apply when you get the secondary school transfer letter with an offer from the school. Applications should be made before 30 June using the form for clothing grant.

How is the grant paid?

Hackney Learning Trust pay the grant in £100 vouchers. These can only be exchanged for school clothing.