Free School Meals
In the current economic climate some families may be unaware that they are eligible for a free school meal. It is a completely confidential process and once you have been assessed it usually lasts for a year unless your circumstances change. They have made the application process much simpler now and with some centrally held data you are now less likely to have to produce paper evidence.
The criteria for eligibility is if you have an annual taxable income of less than £16,190 or you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Income Related Employment and Support Allowance. You are not eligible if you receive any form of Working Tax Credit.
Please don’t feel that there is any stigma attached to your child having a free school meal at this school. It is completely confidential and the children just answer the register in class asking for a school lunch. There is nothing that makes them stand out from the other children who have a hot lunch.
Children being registered for a free school meal also benefits the school because we will receive a pupil premium based on our number of FSM. Our small school with its very tight budget would benefit from any extra funding, so there is a selfish reason for drawing your attention to this matter too.
Universal Free School Meals - KS1
Year 1 and 2 automatically qualify to receive a free meal.
Are you aware though, that whilst this change in entitlement means you will no longer be required to apply for a meal, if you don’t apply but are in receipt of the benefits listed below, your school will miss out on additional funding of £1300 per child which support your child’s learning in the school environment.
Schools use of this additional funding could increase the support we are able to give to those children not making expected progress as well as purchase new resources for the school.
In order for your school to qualify for this additional funding they will ask you to provide them with your name, date of birth and National Insurance Number or asylum seeker reference. This will enable the LA to make an assessment to confirm if your school qualify to receive this funding. It is important to note that no other parents or pupils will know you have been assessed and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.
Do you qualify?
To check whether you qualify, please visit the ECC website at www.essex.gov.uk.