Could your child be benefiting from Free School Meals?
Did you know that by registering for Free School Meals (FSM) your child is not just getting a free meal? Having your name on the FSM register also means that they automatically qualify for Pupil Premium funding. Currently, Pupil Premium guarantees an allocation of an extra £1300 (approximately) per year support for your child - for a minimum of 6 years,
Universal Free Meals - those given to all children up to Year 2 - are not the same as FSM and do not automatically allocate the Pupil Premium funding. Therefore even if your child is entitled to the Universal Free Meals you should still be applying for FSM if you receive any of the below.
The title ‘Free School Meals’ is a bit misleading, if your child has a packed lunch and you receive any of the below, please do still apply for FSM. Registration for FSM does not been you have to have a school dinner but does ensure that your child receives extra funding.
Parents can register for FSM if they receive any of the following:
- Income Support Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
Parents who receive Working Tax Credit are not entitled to claim Free School Meals for their children. If you have recently become unemployed or have reduced your working hours and have been granted the four week working tax credits run on, then you may be entitled to free school meals.
I strongly recommend that you apply for FSM if you believe that you could qualify - no matter what year your child is in and no matter what their preference is for school dinners.
For further information please speak to Dawn or Bridget or go to www.suffolk.gov.uk and search for Free School Meals to apply online.