Were you aware that last year 20% of the children in Cambridgeshire who were eligible for a Free School Meal did not do so?
In reality this means that as well as the pupil missing out on a meal, the school also missed out on additional funding. Currently a school will receive £1,300 per pupil claiming Free School Meals. This money is called Pupil Premium Funding and can be used to support the child’s education in the form of smaller classes, TA support, if necessary or funding to help the pupil’s parents to meet the cost of school trips. This additional income is only received by the school if you apply for Free School Meals, however, please note that your child does not have to have a Free School Meal if they would prefer not to.
As I’m sure you are aware from September 2014, all pupils in the Foundation Stage and KS1 in state funded schools will be entitled to receive free school meals through the introduction of the government’s Universal Infants Free School Meals (UIFSM) Policy. As a result of these changes a new form has been produced for parents/carers to complete to allow them to claim:
- Only the Pupil Premium Funding for those children who are in the Foundation Stage and KS1 or
- A free school meal and the Pupil Premium Funding for those children in Yr 3 and above.
We know that historically there has always been a stigma surrounding the claiming of Free School Meals but this is no longer the case. Many of our children who are not entitled to this service have parents who pay for their child’s meals using the online cashless payment system which means that money transactions in school for school meals are few now.
How do you know if your children are eligible for Free School Meals?
All children who are at school and have parents claiming one of the following are eligible for Free School Meals:
- Income support; or
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance; or
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (this benefit was introduced on 27.10.08)
- Child Tax Credit but who are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and whose annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) does not exceed £16,190; or
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
Unfortunately families in receipt of Working Tax Credit are not eligible to participate in the scheme.
Applying for this service is easy:
- You can download an application form from our school website: www.sutton.cambs.sch.uk
- You can request a paper copy of the form from our school office – all requests are treated confidentially.
- You can download a form from the Local Authority by using the following link:
All applications must contain the applicant’s National Insurance Number or National Asylum Seekers Number. Unfortunately without this number the application form cannot be processed.
Once completed the form can be sent back to be processed by the following means:
- Post to: Education Welfare Benefits Service, Box Number CC1206, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP
- Fax: 01223 727941
- Scan and email to: email@example.com
- Return to the school office and ask us to send it back on your behalf.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information, if you need any further help please do contact us either by calling in at the school office or by telephoning: 01353 778 351 and pressing option 2 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org