Applications are made directly to the authority by parents using the parent portal which is accessible via the Council’s website. Applications are processed through the HMRC ECS checker using a few family personal details. Transitional Protections have been introduced since April 2018 to guarantee Free School Meals to all eligible children during the Universal Credit Rollout period.
As part of the eligibility checking process we will notify parents whether their application has been successful or not and deal with any queries arising from negative decisions.
Where parents are no longer found to be eligible then we will contact them directly to confirm that the recorded details are still pertinent and advise that the Transitional Protections are in place for the relevant children.
Schools are able to see this updated entitlement via the SAM system.
Leaflets are available encouraging parents to apply for the Free School Meals, Pupil Premium where the child is in receipt of UIFSM.
A child may be eligible for free school meals if a parent is in receipt of any of the following benefits:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190);
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit (provided the gross annual income is less than £7400).
- Parents/Carers can apply via the online application system 365 days of the year.
- Instant confirmation on whether a pupil is eligible for Free School Meals and low income Pupil Premium.
- Dedicated team to manage all aspects of the free school meals eligibility checking process
- Speeds up access to a school meal
- Offers a faster, simpler and more convenient application process
- Reduces cost associated with administration and incorrect meal provision
- Removes administrative burdens and saves time obtaining paperwork from applicants
As part of the eligibility checking process, we will:
- Notify parents whether their application has been successful and deal with any queries.
- Where a family is no longer eligible, the LA will make direct contact with the parent to confirm details and advise the end date for the Transitional Protections.
- Daily checking and updating of family eligibility
- Liaison with school officers to ensure accurate attendance details
- Regular data cleansing to ensure school have accurate entitlement details
- Historical eligibility status confirmation for Pupil Premium purposes