Free School Meals
Are you entitled to Free School Meals?
You will be able to claim Free School Meals for your child if you or your partner receive any of the following:
- Income Support?
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child tax credit with an annual gross income into the household that is no more than £16,190, provided you are not entitled to working tax credit. If you are entitled to any part of working tax credit there is no eligibility with the exception of working tax run-on as shown below
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit If you apply on or after 1st April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
You will need to provide evidence that you receive one of the above incomes. This can be your award letter or a letter from Jobcentre Plus, the Pension Service or Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) confirming you receive one of the benefits listed above.
If you feel you may qualify for Free School Meals, whether you take up the free school meal or not, it is imperative that you still make this claim. The Government provides an additional £1,345 of funding for each child who qualifies for Free School meals. This funding will enable us to provide additional activities and resources for our children. This is known as Pupil Premium. This is not the same as the Universal Infant Free School Meals which is an entitlement for all children of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 aged children.
?If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 then they are entitled to receive a free school dinner under the new Government Universal Infant Free Meals Scheme. All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have been recorded as having a free school meal, however if you would prefer your child to have a packed lunch then please can you inform the school office and they will amend your child’s school meal records. Alternatively, you can do this via our Change In Meal Pattern page of our website.
However, the Universal Infant Free School Meals Scheme does not qualify your child for The Pupil Premium entitlement. You still need to make an application to the Benefits Unit to ensure that your child’s school receives the additional funding.
?Online Assessment for Free School Meals
At Wilbraham Primary, we have introduced an easy online system which can assess if you are entitled to Free School Meals.
If you are currently in receipt of Free School Meals or you believe your child should receive Free School meals then please complete the online assessment by following the link below (you will need your National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service Reference Number to complete your assessment):
?Click the link above to begin your online assessment
We are asking all of our parents/carers to complete this online assessment so that the Free School Meal entitlement for each child in school is accurate.
As soon as you complete this assessment, we will be instantly notified of your entitlement and we can update our records accordingly.
How to Claim Free School Meals
You can claim free school meals as part of a new claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. If you would like to go ahead and make this claim, you can do so by following the link below:
?Click the link above to begin your new claim
Or, you can claim free school meals on Manchester City Council's Free School Meals-Only claim form. You can collect a form from our school office or you can download a form from our website to fill in by click the link below:
?Click the link above to begin your online assessment
Manchester City Council will need to see evidence that the child you are claiming for lives with you and that you are responsible for them. For example, an original document that shows:
- you get Child Benefit for the child (this could be your Child Benefit award letter showing your current address); or
- that the child is part of your household (this could be a Child Tax Credit award letter showing the child's name).
If you are already getting Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you don't need to fill in a separate form to claim Free School Meals. However, you must make sure that you tell Manchester City Council the name and address of your child's school. You can use Manchester City Council's online change of circumstances form by clicking the link below:
?Click the link above to tell MCC about any changes in your circumstances
If you are an asylum seeker, don't fill in any of the above claim forms. Children of asylum seekers are entitled to Free School Meals under the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act, Section 117 of Schedule 14. The school provides Free School Meals for these children and the Benefits Service are not involved.
There is a separate procedure you need to follow. You need to contact your child's school and provide evidence that the child is a dependant of an asylum seeker. The preferred evidence is the 'Application Registration Card' (ARC) of the parent/carer. The school will then arrange Free School Meals for your child.
If you are unsure about any of the above information, please do not hesitate to contact our School Business Manager, Janet Buckley, who will assist you with your claim. You can contact our School Business Manager via our Contact Us page or alternatively you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org