Universal Free School Meals
From September 2014 all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will automatically qualify to receive a free meal.
Are you aware, though, that whilst this change in entitlement means you will no longer be required to apply for a free school meal, if you don't apply but are in receipt of certain benefits, the school will miss out on additional funding of approximately £1300 per child. The school uses this funding to support your child's learning.
Schools use of this additional funding could increase the support we are able to give to those children not making expected progress as well as purchase new resources for the school.
In order for us to qualify for this additional funding we will be asking you to provide us with your name, date of birth and National Insurance Number.
What do you need to do?
If your child currently receives a free school meal or you think that you may currently be entitled to a free school meal but have not previously claimed, we will need to ask you for your name, date of birth and National Insurance number.
With your permission, we will give this information to Essex County Council who will make an assessment regarding your eligibility and confirm whether the school qualifies to receive additional funding.
No other parents or pupils will know that you have been assessed and it will not affect any other benefits you may already be claiming.
This information can also be used to confirm whether your older children in Years 3-6 should also receive a free school meal.
Do you qualify?
You can register for Free School Meals if you receive any of these benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- You will not normally be eligible if you receive any amount of Working Tax Credit
Can parents opt out?
All children joining us in Reception will be expected to have a free hot meal every day.
We shall also encourage all children in Year 1 and Year 2 to order a meal every day.
We appreciate that some children are reluctant to try new foods but we would like them to try our new menus.
School packed lunches are available with a choice of cheese or ham sandwich, fruit, yogurt, cookie/cake, crisps and a drink.