About Free School Meals
FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Your child will be eligible for free school meals if you are receiving one of the following benefits or support:
- Universal Credit - If you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your annual net earned income must be no more that £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to 3 of your most recent assessment periods.
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and your annual income is below £16,190 (as worked out by HM Revenue & Customs)
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- parents receiving Working Tax Credit for four weeks after their employment finishes are entitled to free school meals during that period. This also applies to parents who start working less than 16 hours per week
Transitional Protection is introduced so that;
- From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time
- In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period.
- Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the above eligibility criteria at that point will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary)
Transitional Protection applies to all children whether eligible through legacy benefits or Universal Credit.
Transitional Protections are put in place on an individual child basis, not on a family basis.
This means that younger children will not become entitled to free school meals simply because their older sibling is in receipt of transitional protection. The younger child must meet the eligibility criteria at the time the application is made to become eligible for free school meals.
The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2022.
You are NOT entitled to free school meals if:
- you receive Working Tax Credit except where the 'four week run-on' applies as described above
Children attending schools in another authority: for example, Rotherham, but you live in Doncaster; then you should apply to that Authority.
Universal infant free school meals
All infant age pupils (reception, year 1 and year 2) are entitled to receive a free school meal. This includes academies and free schools.
Although infant children will automatically receive a free meal, families who are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits above should complete an online application so we can check if the school is entitled to receive the Pupil Premium for your child.
The Pupil Premium is a grant provided by the government for every child that has the right to a free school meal. For 2018-19 the Pupil Premium is;
- £1,320 per eligible pupil from Reception to Year 6, or
- £935 per eligible pupil from Years 7 to Year 11
The money is used to support individual pupils and the whole school community.
Even if you don’t want your child to receive a free school meal we would ask you to apply, so that your child’s school receives as much funding as possible.
For further information please see the document below: