Free school meals – information and application form

If your child(ren) is/are eligible for Free School Meals but you have not registered their entitlement both you and their school may be missing out.

Registering your entitlement to free school meals may well bring extra Government funding into the school, which will benefit all children at the school. The sum of money provided is large and would make a difference to our children.

It is now much quicker and easier to check whether or not you are entitled to free schools meals. You no longer need to provide any paperwork – you just need to provide a few key personal details and give us your permission to check your eligibility on line.

If you receive one of the following support payments you are entitled to receive a free school meal for you child:
· Income Support (IS);

· Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA);

· Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ESA(IR));

· Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;

· Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit;

· Child Tax Credit (CTC) providing you do not also receive Working Tax Credit (WTC) and have an annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue of less than £16,190.

You can fill in the attached claim form and sign the declaration at the bottom of the page and return the form to the school reception, who will send it to County Hall.

Alternatively you can now request a Free School Meal entitlement check by telephone – just call 0300 123 2224 and ask to be put through to the Contract Support Team. You will need to have to hand your date of birth and National Insurance number, along with the name and date of birth of each of your children and details of the school(s) they attend. We will log onto a Central Government database which allows us to check whether or not you are entitled to claim free school meals for your children. We will not see any details about the benefits you claim or your income – we will just get an on screen result which tells us whether or not you are entitled. Often we will be able to make the check while you are on the phone. If not we will call you back as soon as possible to let you know whether or not you are entitled. If you are entitled we will also inform your child’s school so that they can arrange for meals to be provided for them as soon as possible.

The meals provided are of a high standard. The food provided is freshly made, tasty and varied. Beech Catering try to provide food the children will eat and enjoy. There is often enough for the children to have second helpings! If it would be of help I would willingly give any interested child a “taster” meal to see if they could be persuaded to have a meal.

Please note: For those already in receipt of free school meals it is now necessary for you to complete the attached application form in order for your child to continue receiving meals. This ‘apply once’ application form will remove the need for parents to re-apply annually as Somerset County Council will run regular checks and advise the school of entitlement.

Click on the link below to download the form:

Free School Meals application form