Could your child be entitled to free school meals (FSM)?

In our school if your child is entitled to FSM then we receive additional funding which we use in the following ways:-

  • Providing additional academic support for FSM children who need to boost progress or be challenged further
  • Providing financial support towards additional costs of education such as trips
  • Providing financial support to allow every FSM child one free (normally paid for) extra-curricular activity after school per week for the whole year.
  • Providing financial support towards uniform and equipment
  • Additional Educational needs resources

The following information will help you establish whether you qualify.

Who can get free school meals?
All pupils in reception, year one or year two in primary schools are entitled to ‘universal’ free school meals. This is not the same as ‘Free School Meals’ (FSM). Pupils that are eligible for free school meals receive additional funding called ‘Pupil Premium.’ In our school if your child is entitled to Free School meals, you get financial support with other aspects of school life not just the free school meal. (See the list at the top of the letter.) If you apply and are eligible even if at some point your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the actual free school meal – you will receive the Pupil Premium funding for six years. Which means all the additional supported listed at the top of this letter will continue for the next 6 years. (Or, whilst your child is at our school).

However, you have to apply to see if you are eligible, as you will not automatically get the additional support
You may be eligible for free school meals if you get:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA-IR)
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB-JSA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’- the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax CreditUniversal Credit

Who can register for pupil premium?
If you receive one of the above benefits that entitle your child to free school meals, you can also register your eligibility with the council so that the school can benefit from additional funding, called pupil premium.

The pupil premium gives schools extra funding to raise the achievement of some pupils. This is measured by the number of children eligible for free school meals based on the above qualifying benefits. It is worth over £1000 per pupil for the school your child attends.

How to claim

In reception, year one or year two
If your child is in or starting reception, year one or year two they will receive the universal free school meals which you don’t have to apply for. However, if you think you are eligible for ‘Free School Meals’ then it is important that you apply – so that you don’t miss out on the Pupil Premium funding for your child. If you get any of the above benefits, please register your child so the school can benefit from pupil premium.
Your child’s ‘Universal’ free school meals will stop at the end of year two, unless you receive the above qualifying benefits and you have already registered your child with us.

To register for free school meals and pupil premium:
Online
Please complete our online form to register with us (LCC).

By phone
If you have not claimed for free school meals for your child before ring your local area education office – AREA NORTH (01524) 581207
It must be the person claiming the benefit that rings.
You will need to provide your name, date of birth and national insurance number. They will confirm whether you are entitled immediately over the telephone.

By post
Download the application form and return it to your local area education office.

  • Area Education Office North, White Cross Education Centre, Quarry Road, Lancaster LA1 3SQ
  • Application form (reception) (PDF, 93KB)????????
  • Application form (all other years) (PDF, 67KB)????????

What happens next
If you are eligible, we will let the school know that your child can have free school meals.
Each school has its own arrangements for letting the dinner service staff know who will be getting free school meals. Contact your school if you have any questions.
Once your application has been granted for free school meals or pupil premium you never need to complete another application. We will check on a regular basis that your children are still entitled to the meals. We will let you know if you are no longer eligible. You should still contact the area office if you are no longer getting any benefits.

  • Area Education Office North, White Cross Education Centre, Quarry Road, Lancaster LA1 3SQ

Proof of benefit / if the check shows that you are not entitled
We use the government’s benefits database to check your entitlement for your children’s free school meals. If the check shows that you are not entitled, this does not mean that your children are not automatically entitled to free school meals.
If you can provide proof of your entitlement, then we can check your claim again if you show us or send us a copy of one of the following documents:

Income Support
All pages of the letter from DWP/Job Centre Plus dated within 1 month of application showing breakdown of income support payment.

Income Based Jobseekers Allowance / Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
All pages of the letter which shows the breakdown of jobseekers allowance / Employment Support Allowance dated within 1 month of application.

Child Tax Credit
Your complete TC602 Inland Revenue tax credit award notice, for the current tax year.
Contact your local area education office for more details.

  • Area Education Office North, White Cross Education Centre, Quarry Road, Lancaster LA1 3SQ

Please don’t hesitate to contact the school office should require any further help or support