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 entitlement

Children may qualify for free school meals if they attend a Nottinghamshire County Council School and the parent/carer receives one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after the person stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190

Children who receive income support or income related employment support allowance in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals (this situation often applies to post-16 pupils in special schools).

Registering for free school meals

Click on link below:

https://emsonline.nottscc.gov.uk/CitizenPortal_LIVE/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2FCitizenPortal_LIVE%2F