Free School Meals
Children of families receiving any of the following may be entitled to free school meals and other educational benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of 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 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credits
How does it work?
Students who are eligible for free school meals have a daily amount credited to their school meals account each day. They are then able to use their biometric print or student card in the dining room to purchase food at break and/or lunch time. These facilities can be used between 9.00am and 2.30pm and there is also a smaller amount made available for breakfast which can be spent between 7.00am and 8.30am.
Anonymity is very important and so students who receive free school meals cannot be identified. They should purchase a school meal or equivalent to make best use of the funds available.
Please note that the daily funding for the free school meals cannot be carried over to the next day. Student accounts are credited for the start of each school day.
What you should do if you would like to apply for Free School Meals?
Parents/carers have to apply for Free School Meals through Hertfordshire County Council. The School Finance Office is always happy to help if a parent/carer has any queries regarding Free School Meals but they will be unable to apply on parents/carers behalf.
The quickest and most effective way to apply for Free School Meals is via the Hertfordshire County Council website. We can help and if you contact the school, you can access the application here and it is completed within 20 minutes. The preferred method for applying is through the online application form that can be found here (you will need to click on Children in Year 3 or Older).
If parents/carers have any other queries, they should contact the Education Benefits team either by email or by calling 0300 123 4048.
Alternative ways to apply are shown below:
Smartphone: using the LookingLocal app available from app stores.
Digital TV: The Community Channel – Press the red button.
Or, apply during Customer Service Centre open hours: www.hertsdirect.org/contact/
Phone: 0300 123 4048
What are the benefits of your child receiving free school meals?
School meals – these are the tastier option, providing children with a healthy and nutritious hot meal at lunchtime. Research shows that a school dinner can improve concentration levels in children, helping them to get the best out of their education. There are plenty of interesting recipes which are changed regularly, offering lots of choice and encouraging children to try new food. And because locally-sourced produce is used wherever possible, school meals help our local farmers too.
Additional funding – the school receives additional funding for every student who is registered as receiving free school meals and this is used to support these students in a variety of ways in their education. The following are just some examples of how the school uses the funding to support students on free school meals:
- School trips to enhance student learning.
- Music tuition to provide an alternative learning perspective.
- Clubs and interventions to support classroom learning and teaching.
- Learning resources such as revision guides, textbooks and other equipment.
- Help with travel costs and uniform.
- For more information on how this funding could support your child please see the Pupil Premium information on the school website.
If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Markou.