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free school meals


Article 24:   Children have the right to good quality health care, clean water nutritious food and a clean environment so that they can stay healthy.

Pupil Premium (Free School Meals)

If you receive certain benefits and your annual gross income (HMRC assessed) is not more than £16,190, you may be eligible to receive FSM and funding for your child’s school through the Pupil Premium (Free School Meals).

We want to make sure that everyone who is eligible is using this benefit. Some parents in the borough who are eligible to claim free school meals for their children are not claiming their entitlement.

Taking up free school meals has positive outcomes for everyone:

  • children can benefit from a healthy free nutritious meal
  • families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year by claiming free school meals
  • it’s anonymous for parents (because so much of the application process can be done online, a person's entitlement is mostly processed electronically)
  • it’s anonymous for young people (thanks to our cashless catering system, claiming free school meals is anonymous – cards are swiped in the same way as a paid-for meal so nobody knows that it’s a free school meal)
  • schools can benefit directly by receiving money from the government

Who can claim free school meals

If you are on a low income or receive Child Benefit and any of these benefits, you could claim free school meals for your child:

  • 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)
  • 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
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (earnings after tax and not including any benefits you get)

You may qualify for free school meals for your child if:

  • you are an asylum seeker
  • you live outside Barking and Dagenham but meet the previous criteria and your child is attending a school in the borough
  • your only or main income is one of the benefits listed

Apply for Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)

Make sure you have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number to hand when applying for free school meals.

Registering for Pupil Premium

The best way to contact us and apply for Pupil Premium is to use our registration form below.

Pupil Premium registration form