Free School Meals (FSM)
Free School Meals is a benefit awarded in respect of children under the age of 19 where the parent or guardian is getting one of the qualifying benefits below. Also 19 year olds where Child Benefit is being received for them or where the pupil is defined as independent and is getting the following benefits:
From 6 April 2011 the income ‘threshold’, which forms part of the ‘Tax Credit’ free school meal eligibility category, will remain at£16,190
Children whose parents receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support from NASS under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child tax credit (with no working tax credit)
- Working Tax Credit run-on
- Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400
[Please note – people who work less than 16 hours a week are not entitled to receive Working Tax Credit. This exemption for allowing WTC only applies to the 4 week period after they stop receiving it. Under any other circumstances the existence of WTC means that free school meals should not be allowed].
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.
By Law no other category of support payment or combination of Tax Credits qualifies for free school meals. There are no other circumstances that can legally justify the provision of a free meal.
Special arrangements are in place for asylum seekers who do not have access to these particular benefits and this is explained in more detail later.
From 5th December 2005, the Civil Partnership Act came into force, giving legal recognition to same sex couples. For Free School Meals eligibility purposes, this means that same sex couples who live together and who are claiming the above listed income-related benefits can claim free school meals for their dependant children.
Parent/s or guardian/s who make the application are required to provide evidence of their entitlement to the school in order to assess eligibility for free meals.
We do encourage parents who are unsure of eligibility to contact the school, and also those parents who are eligible but do not wish to take up free school meals, we encourage applying as the school benefits financially even if the meal is not taken.
If at any time your circumstances change please inform the school office, Mrs D Smith on 0121 464 6700.