Free School Meals
Free school meals and Covid-19
The government have issued guidance to schools regarding the continuing provision of free school meals support via meals, food packs or vouchers at this time.
Check your eligibility online by clicking here
Additional temporary entitlement to free school meals
A temporary extension for entitlement to free school meals has been agreed for some additional categories of pupils. This extension is from 21 April 2020 until schools reopen to all pupils.
There are 4 new categories for temporary entitlement:
A Zambrano carer is the primary carer of a British citizen child or dependent adult, where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would force that British citizen to leave the European Economic Area (EEA).
You must be able to show:
- that the carer or parent is not a British citizen
- that the child is a British citizen
- that the carer is a direct relative or legal guardian of the child
- that they have primary responsibility of the child
- that there are no other members of the carer’s family in the UK or the EEA who could look after the child
- to meet this extended criteria you must also have a household income of less than £28,200 per year
To apply please complete the self-declaration form and provide the necessary income proof.
Right to remain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
Article 8 states that everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
Carers with leave to remain under article 8 are able to work, and as such are subject to a maximum annual household earnings threshold of £28,200 in order for their child to be eligible to receive free school meals.
To apply you should complete the self-declaration form, provide copy of your letter from the Home Office granting them leave to remain in the UK and/or a biometric residence card, and provide the necessary income proof.
Children of failed asylum seekers receiving support under Section 4 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Section 4 allows the Home Office to provide support to a subset of refused asylum seekers who are classed as destitute and meet their criteria. People receiving Section 4 support are not able to work, and as such there is no household income limit applied for these pupils.
To apply you should complete the self-declaration form and provide a letter from the Home Office or local authority confirming Section 4 support and/or an ASPEN card. An ASPEN card is a type of debit card that the allowance paid to asylum seekers is loaded on to.
Children in families receiving support under section 17 of the Children’s Act 1989 and have no recourse to public funds
Section 17 places a general duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.
A child will be considered in need if:
- they are unlikely to achieve or maintain or to have the opportunity to achieve or maintain a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision of services by the local authority
- the child’s health or development is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired without the provision of such services
- the child is disabled
The support local authorities provide will vary depending on the individual needs of the child and/or family. This support is not provided exclusively to people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)– however, the extended eligibility for free school meals is available only to families with NRPF. To meet the extended criteria the family must also have an annual household income of less than £28,200 per annum.
To apply you should complete the self-declaration form, provide a copy of the latest children in need pack/plan from the local authority dated within the last 6 months, and provide the necessary income proof.
Please note: whilst the free school meals team will handle the free school meals claim, they are unable to offer any guidance or support regarding entitlement to, or how to claim for, support under the 4 categories listed above.
Confirming household income where necessary (categories 1, 2 and 4).
Where an income threshold is being applied, the maximum annual household earnings is £28,200 after tax. This equates to £2350 per month.