Why apply for Free School Meals?

If you think you may be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and you aren’t already registered then you really should be!

Reason 1: You could save on dinner money (£2.65 allowance per day - enough for a hot meal)

Reason 2: FSM students also get Pupil Premium funding for the school. This is paid to schools for students who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years and is used to support their eligible students. We use part of this funding to provide concessionary rates and an annual allowance for extra-curricular activities such as school trips and musical instrument tuition. To use your allowance you will need to contact Student Services

More details about how we use Pupil Premium funding may be found in Reports (Premiums tab).

Reason 3: FSM eligibility is used to enable access to additional household support with essentials e.g. supermarket vouchers for school holidays

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Who is eligible for Free School Meals?

Students who have a parent/guardian in receipt of any of the following benefits are eligible:

  • Income Support (IS)

  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (IRESA)

  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit, provided parents are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross household income, as assessed by HMRC, that does not exceed £16,190

  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Students who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

New Year 7 parents in September 2024 should note that universal free school meals do not currently extend to secondary schools. It is therefore strongly recommended that you check your eligibility and register for free school meals if you qualify.

How can I apply for Free School Meals?

Free School Meals are awarded by the local council. It is easy to apply online by following the links below:

You will be advised if you are eligible or not via a letter from your council. The School is also notified and makes the change to its systems.

How does the daily Free School Meal Allowance work in the Cafe?

  • The daily Free School Meal allowance of £2.65 is automatically added each morning to the student's school meal account
  • Students queue up and pay for school meals just as they do with funds put into their account by a parent/carer. Other students are not aware that the child benefits from Free School Meals
  • Students can buy the main hot meal option which is priced at £2.65 or other items up to the value of their daily allowance of £2.65
  • Parents can add funds to their child's school meal account using ParentPay so that their child can buy extra items
  • Free School Meal allowances have to be spent within a fixed period of time. Unspent Free School Meal allowances are deducted from the student's school meal account after a set time
  • Students can see the balance on their account at the till. You can also see the balance by logging into ParentPay
  • Students can tell their parent/carer if they need to top up their account or you can set up ParentPay so you receive a text if the balance falls below a limit of your choice
  • To save money you may wish to provide your child with a drink or re-fillable water bottle

Please email Student Services if you still have a query.