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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy

Free School Meals

Changes to how you apply for Free School Meals.

The government has announced that the way you apply for and the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals will be changing by April this year.

We want to make sure that we are providing your child with the best education and support we can.  Healthy school food has obvious health benefits and can help students establish healthy habits for life.  Healthy school food can also help improve students' readiness to learn.

Families who receive certain benefits may be eligible for free school meals.

Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £900 for your child's secondary school, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school acitivities.

The additional money is available from central government for every child whose parent is receiving one of the benefits that are eligible.

To check if your child is eligible, we need information about you and your child.  Please see further information below and you can download our form at the bottom of this page.

Updated eligibility rules and guidance for parents.

New Guidelines

The Department for Education have recently (March 2018) published updated eligibility rules and guidance for schools on free school meals.  We have outlined the substantial changes that may affect you below.

Who is eligible for free school meals?

Free school meals are available to students in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Support under Part IV of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tex Credit.

In addition, the following students will be protected against losing their free school meals:

  • From 1st April 2018, all exisiting 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 1st April 2018 will be protected against losing their free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period.
  • Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any exisiting claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary).

The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2022.