Are you claiming your entitlement to free school meals?
There has been much in the news recently about the new pupil premium and government policies to fund education both for nursery age children through Sure Start, primary and secondary education and onto Higher Education.
As parents you need to know that registering for free school meals is increasingly important for two key reasons. You will be reassured that your child has access to healthy food at lunchtimes and is well nourished for learning in the afternoon. Additionally, the number of students registered will affect school funding; in these times of deep funding cuts to school and local authority budgets this will provide additional much needed funding to Saint Georgeís and may affect the support your child may need to stay on into the Sixth Form or go on to university.
The big change is the focus on entitlement to free school meals rather than just claiming. Registering the entitlement for your child to have free school meals is accompanied by the Pupil Premium funding to schools which is worth £430 per student. This means Saint George’s will have choices about continuing to fund small group work, one to one tuition or accessing programmes through external agencies. With Vericool our biometric cashless catering system parents can monitor students’ food choices. Most importantly students claiming free school meals are not identified in any way as different.
We suspect many students entitled to free school meals do not claim them. In the current economic climate where parents are being made redundant, working part time rather than full time or moving into area with no job this number must be rising.
From April 2011 Saint George’s will only get the additional funding described above if students who are able to register for free school meals actually get registered and stay registered this benefits students and what the school can do for students. We strongly urge you to register, especially when your circumstances change unexpectedly. This is important whether or not your child wishes to eat a school meal regularly; again we want to reassure you this is confidential. It is very important to Saint George’s , in these tricky financial times, to have access to all funding to support learning that we can.
To apply for free school meals, parents must have one or more children aged four or over attending a local authority maintained school in Kent and be in receipt of one of the benefits below:
- Income support
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit ( without working Tax Credit) and an annual income below £16, 190
- Employment and Support Allowance ( Income Related)
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
No evidence is required to be sent with the form.
We would like to say again if you think you are eligible, whether your child will use the free school meal regularly or not, please register as quickly as possible. The application form is available below the address to send the completed form is in bold capitals at the bottom of the sheet. We can send the form if you prefer just let us know. If you need any help completing the form or would like us to post it for you please contact me Mrs Edwins Deputy Head 01474 533082 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org