Free School Meals

Notes for Parents on Free School Meals for Pupils at Primary and Secondary School

Legal Background
Free School Meals are administered by the LEA and the qualifying rules are decided by Central government.

Eligibility Rules
Parents or guardians receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) or Child Tax Credit with an annual taxable income of less than £16,190 or the 'Guaranteed' element of State Pension Credit can use this form to claim for Free School Meals. You will not be eligible for Free School Meals if you receive any amount of Working Tax Credit. Free School Meals can only be given on the basis of a completed and approved application and cannot be backdated.

Application Process
When an application has been agreed we will send a letter to the parent or guardian and notify the school.

Applications have to be renewed every 6 months
. We will write to you before that time to ask for new evidence of one of the above benefits so that the Free School Meals can be continued.

If your benefit ceases or your annual taxable income increases to over £16,040 or you receive an amount of Working Tax Credit, your child does not then qualify for free meals and you must let the Student and Pupil Financial Support Service know immediately (in writing). You will be required to repay the money to the school for meals taken if you continue to claim them when your child is no longer entitled.

Evidence of Income - only the following types of evidence can be used to support your claim:

Letter - Department of Social Security / Benefits Agency
A photocopy of a letter from the Department of Social Security or the Benefits Agency or the Employment Service dated less than 6 weeks old and showing:-
(a) The name and address details of the person receiving benefit
(b) The name of the benefit
(If Job Seekers Allowance is being claimed evidence must state 'Job Seekers Allowance - income based).

2. Letter - Inland Revenue
A photocopy of your TC602 letter from the Inland Revenue dated within the current tax year showing:-
(a) The name and address details of the person receiving benefit
(b) The name of the benefit

3. Letter - Pensions Services
A photocopy of your Award Notice from the Pensions Service showing:-
(a) The name and address details of the person receiving benefit
(b) The 'How pension credit has been worked out...' section showing details of Guaranteed Pension Credit Payment.

4. Competion of Section 5 of Form
The Benefits Agency/Job Centre/Inland Revenue can complete Section 5 of the SA25 Form.

5. Immigration and Nationality Directorate Documentation
A copy of the Application registration card or Form SAL1 or Form SAL2 showing:-
(a) The name and date of birth of the person the document relates to
(b) The date of issue or date of application for asylum

The following benefits are not sufficient evidence and will NOT qualify you for Free School Meals:
Working Tax Credit, Job Seekers Allowance (Contribution Based), Disability Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Child Benefit, or Housing Benefit.

A bank statement is not sufficient evidence either, as it does not give the name of the benefit that you receive.

If you require a Free School Meal form, please contact Mrs Lucas, Student Support Assistant, Stewards Academy on 01279 421951