Free School Meals

Changes to free school meal entitlement – universal credit rollout

From April 2018 the criteria used to determine which pupils are eligible for free school meals was updated to reflect the introduction of Universal Credit and the phasing out of other income-based benefits.

Transitional protection as part of Universal Credit rollout

To ensure families are not disadvantaged during this rollout, protection arrangements have been put in place.

This means that:

  • Any child eligible for free school meals on 31 March 2018 will retain their eligibility until the end of the rollout, March 2022 regardless of whether their circumstances change.
  • Any child who becomes eligible during the rollout of universal credit (from 1 April 2018 to March 2022) will retain their eligibility until the end of the rollout, March 2022 regardless of whether their circumstances change.
  • Once the rollout of universal credit is complete, no child will lose their entitlement and will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education.

A pupil is only eligible to receive a free school meal when a claim for the meal has been made on their behalf and Nottinghamshire County Council has verified their eligibility.  NCC will continue to use the DfE Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to determine eligibility for free school meals.

Transitional protection is on an individual child basis and not on a family basis.  This means that other children in the family will not automatically be entitled to free school meals.  Children must meet the eligibility criteria at the time the application for free school meals is made in order to be entitled.

Free school meals and milk

Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the qualifying benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earning from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after the person stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Registering for free school meals

Register online at:

https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk

The information needed to register includes:

  • personal details (including national insurance number and date of birth) for the parent/carer
  • child’s details in full including their date of birth and the school they attend.

If eligible for free school meals and/or milk the start date will normally be within two working days of parents contacting us and entitlement being verified.  Children attending maintained nurseries will also qualify for a free school meal as long as they are receiving funded early years education before and after lunch.

Children transferring between schools that use Nottinghamshire County Councils eligibility assessment service do not need to reapply.  For children attending a school that does not use this service you should contact the school directly for information about how to apply for free school meals.

If parents are unable to apply online they should contact us on

0300 500 80 80 or they can download an application form on link below.

fsm-application-form

Registering for free school meals

Click on link below:

https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/education/school-meals/free-school-meals-and-milk/apply-for-free-school-meals-and-milk