Local Authorities, Academies and Free Schools have a duty to provide free school meals to pupils of all ages. Free School Meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit (provided the family has an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to 3 of the most recent assessment periods)
- 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 Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (providing the family is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run on – paid for four weeks after a claimant stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
In addition the following pupils will be protected against losing their free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out:
- From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meal pupils will continue to receive free school meals
- Any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out (expected to be complete in March 2022) any existing claimant that no longer meets the eligibility criteria will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary).
If at any time your family meets these criteria, please see Mrs. Jarrett and she will give advice on paperwork needed.