Free School Meals
Who is eligible for Free School Meals?
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- 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
- Universal Credit and yourannual household income is less than £7,400 a year (£616 over month) or less after tax, and not including any benefits.
How to apply for Free school Meals
Apply for FSM by clicking on this link https://emsi.worcestershire.gov.uk/CitizenPortal_LIVE/en
Universal Infant Free School Meals in England
All children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 receive Universal Infant Free School Meals, you can speak to us in school about arranging for these to start.
If you are on benefits and meet the criteria, it is worth applying online for children this age, If eligible this way you can receive food vouchers during the school holidays, and your child can attend the Ready Steady Worcestershire School Holiday clubs.
This will also allow the school to claim an extra payment called Pupil Premium, to support your child while in school. If you are not on benefits, there is no need to apply.
After you have completed your application
- Your eligibility for free school meals will be checked using the Government’s automated Eligibility Checking System (ECS) checker the application is processed by the Free School Meal team
- If you qualify for a free school meal a message will be sent to you confirming your free school meal award and your child or children's school will be contacted
- Please contact your child's school to find out how your child's lunch will be served
- Free school meals cannot be granted to any child until we have received a correctly completed application
- Entitlement to free school meals cannot be backdated
- Schools will know if your child qualifies for a universal infant free school meal
Claiming Free School Meal vouchers during the school holidays
If you are eligible for Free School Meals and have completed the application online, then our school will be notified of your FSM status. Since COVID, during the school half-term holidays and longer holidays the Local Authority have been able to provide food vouchers through the Edenred scheme for eligible families. During this period our school will email each parent the allocated amount of food vouchers for the period of holiday. Parents can select their preferred supermarket and use the vouchers to buy food for the holiday for their children.
The current government scheme for Universal Infant Free School Meal is not included in the school holiday voucher scheme.
If you would like to know more, please go to the school office and we will give you more information.
What is the HAF Programme?
HAF is a Department for Education (DfE) funded programme aimed at enabling children and young people in receipt of benefits-related free school meals (FSM) to attend school holiday activities and experiences during Easter, summer and Christmas.
In Worcestershire, we work with over 200 organisations to deliver the programme for families, this includes holiday club providers, workshop providers, supermarkets, suppliers, caterers, community groups, charities and schools.
The programme creates free places for eligible children to attend, with a focus on enriching activities with a healthy meal and snacks included.
Research has shown that the school holidays can be pressure points for some families, leading to a holiday experience gap. Through the HAF programme we are encouraging children that access our out-of-school activities to eat well, get active, have fun and make friends.