Free School Meals
It is widely acknowledged that many children who are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) do not receive them because the allowance has not been claimed. However, students recorded as eligible for FSM can now access far more than simply a meal at lunchtime, for example they may be able to receive extra maths and English tuition, and these benefits can span a period of at least six years from the initial allowance. This is possible through the Government’s Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) whereby St Bede’s receives extra funding for each student claiming Free School Meals. For more information about the PPG, please see http://st-bedes-cambridge.org.uk/Our-School/Pupil-Premium/
Funding though the Education Maintenance Allowance for Post 16 students has been abolished. Sixth Forms and Colleges can award bursaries to students to help with educational expenses. These bursaries are based on the student’s entitlement to Free School Meals.
As we have a Cashless Catering system at St Bede’s, the Free School Meal entitlement is credited to the student’s account and they buy their food in the same way as every other student, without any risk of identification or embarrassment.
Did you know?
- A child of Secondary School age can spend up to £2.35 per day
- Your child doesn’t have to have it – but it’s there if they would like it
- Claiming free school meals instead of paying for them will save parents around £400 a year per child
- St Bede’s receives extra money for each child who is entitled to Free School Meals – see http://www.st-bedes.org.uk/Our-School/Pupil-Premium/ for more information
Is your child eligible for Free School Meals?
All school children who are under the age of 19 at the start of the academic year and are claiming, or have parents who are claiming, one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit but who are not entitled to working tax credit and whose annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) does not exceed £16,190
- Guarantee element of state pension credit
- Universal Credit
Where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school meals.
Applying is easy
Applying for free school meals on-line is quick and easy and no proof of entitlement is needed. On receipt of the on-line application, Cambridgeshire County Council will check for entitlement through a secure Electronic Checking System. All that is needed is the claimant’s name, National Insurance number, their children's details and details of their children's schools.
To apply, complete an online application form which can be found through https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-&-learning/help-with-school-&-learning-costs/free-school-meals/
Alternatively, complete print and return the application form: Application form for Free School Meals
Parents needing help or internet access to complete these forms are welcome to contact the St Bede’s School office. For more information call the Education Welfare Benefits Service on 01223 703200.