Claiming for Free School Meals
Every child in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 is eligible for a Universal Free School Meal funded by the governement. This ends when the children leave Year 2. Some parents may be elible for Free School Meals if they are in receipt of certain benefits. If you do quality for Free School Meals, you are entitled to other discounts and provision in school.
If you think your child may qualify for Free School Meals, please read the following information so that you can begin to start the claim process.
Why should I claim for Free School Meals?
It is really important, that if you feel you may be entitled to claim for Free School Meals, that you do so. This is because there is additional government funding awarded to the school, called the Pupil Premium, which is awarded to schools according to the number of children in receipt of Free School Meals. This means that claiming for Free School Meals could also help your child receive other benefits at school. Therefore, if you do feel you are entitled to claim, it is very much in your, your child and the school’s interest that you do make this claim. You can even claim and then not take the school hot dinner if your child does not like it; or, your child can just have the school dinners on the days they wish to.
What are the eligibility criteria to claim for Free School Meals?
The current criteria for claiming free school meals are that you must be in receipt of one or more of the following;
- Income Support (IS)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based)
- Child Tax Credit, provided the annual taxable income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue is not in excess of £16,190. (Families who also receive an award of Working Tax Credit do not qualify to claim for free school meals.
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Children who receive Income Support (IS) or Income Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals
In addition, there is also a temporary qualification for free school meals.
From 1st May 2009, where a parent has been entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, they will be eligible to claim free school meals over that period.
How do I claim for Free School Meals?
To make a claim for Free School Meals, download and complete the Free School Meals Application Form or call in to the school office, who will be able to provide you with a copy of the form.
Once completed, please return the form to:
School Food Support Service
Tel: 0116 305 6588
Do I have to apply every year?
You only need to apply for free school meals once, your eligibility will then be checked on a 4 weekly basis via the central benefit records database. If after this check of eligibility it is found that you are no longer eligible, the School Food Support Service will write to you requesting to see proof of the benefits you are receiving.
Please download the LCC Free School Meals & Universal Infants Free Meals Leaflet.
If you would like any further information about Free School Meals, please call in to the school office and we will be able to assist you.