Free School Meals
Parents/carers in receipt of the following support payments will be entitled to receive free school meals:
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (IRESA)
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, that does not exceed £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (the payment someone receives for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
School children living on their own (16-19 year olds) who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right can also get free school meals.
Please note that from 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time. In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit roll-out period.
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary).
The Universal Credit roll-out is currently expected to complete in March 2025.
How to apply for Free School Meals
The quickest and easiest way to apply for free school meals is through the Citizen Portal which will give you an instant decision.
Parents and Carers can also ring the Devon Education Helpline on 0345 155 1019.
Please ask at the school office if you need any further help or support.
All children in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 at state schools in England automatically get free school meals. However, parents and guardians are encouraged to apply for free school meals when they enrol their child in school, as this can help their child’s school to attract additional ‘pupil premium‘ funding to support learning.
Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme
The aim of the HAF programme is to support children to eat more healthily and to be more active over the school holidays.
Eligible families have been provided with a code in order to access this programme.
The HAF Programme is fully funded by the Government and enables your child to access a variety of exciting activities over the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays as well as receiving a cooked meal.
You can access up to 4 sessions in the Easter holidays, 16 sessions in the Summer holidays and 4 sessions in the Christmas holidays. Additional sessions maybe available but will be charged for. Please enquire, direct with your local provider if this is possible.
Healthy Start Programme
If you have children under four years old, or are pregnant, and you or your family receive qualifying benefits, you may be eligible for free food and vitamin vouchers from the Healthy Start programme.
Healthy Start is a programme to help families with young children get free food vouchers to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins for under 4s (vitamin A, C and D) and vitamins if you are pregnant (folic acid and vitamin C and D). Because we’re indoors a lot of the time at the moment, we might not be getting enough vitamin D from sunshine so a vitamin D supplement will help.
Applying is easy: print off an application form from the Healthy Start website and post it to the Healthy Start office (address in application form link).
Once you are registered, food vouchers are posted to you every 4 weeks and vitamin coupons every 8 weeks.
To make things easier at the moment, vitamins are currently being posted to families – please ask your midwife or Children’s Centre for more information, or text your health visitor on 07520 631721.