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School meals

  • The key to enabling your child to enjoy gluten-free meals at their school is providing the adults, carers or teachers who are looking after them with as much information as possible.

Free school meals

School mealsThere are universal free school meal policies for certain school years in schools in England and Scotland. In addition, free school meals are available to some children depending on individual circumstances, for example the receipt of certain types of benefits. To find out if your child is eligible visit the links on the right hand side of this page.

If a child is entitled to a free school meal, they should not be excluded because they have coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease in school - information for parents and schools

We have produced a ‘Coeliac disease in school’ information pack which provides information to allow your child’s condition to be managed effectively in school. It includes information for you as a parent or carer and for the school. You can download the information packs for where you live below.

England

The Children’s and Families Act 2014 came into force in September 2014, and states that all state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools in England must make arrangements for supporting children with medical conditions. The Act also places a duty on these schools to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 from September 2014.

Northern Ireland

Free school meals are not universal but are available for some children depending on individual circumstances. Visit the link on the right hand side of this page to find out if your child is eligible for free school meals.

Scotland

From January 2015, the Scottish Government has decided to provide free school meals for all children in primary 1 to 3 across Scotland.

Wales

In Wales, all primary school children are entitled to a free school breakfast. Free school meals are not universal but are available for some children depending on individual circumstances. Visit the link on the right hand side of this page to find out if your child is eligible for free school meals.

British Islands

We've produced general information for those who live in Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, please download our information packs for the British Islands here. 

The Belly Bunch

Members of Coeliac UK can download a copy of our special children’s guide, The Belly Bunch. The booklet, designed for children up to seven years, uses easy to understand language to explain about coeliac disease, why it makes them feel poorly, what they can eat and how much better they feel eating food without gluten and uses bright, colourful pictures. It can also be used as an educational tool in schools and nurseries. You can also purchase a copy of The Belly Bunch from our online shop

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