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 St Francis Xavier’s College 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 currently worth £935.00 per student. This means St Francis Xavier’s College will have choices about continuing to fund small group work, one to one tuition or accessing programmes through external agencies, in addition to supporting individual and group projects, enrichment, sporting and extra-curricular activities for eligible students. With our biometric cashless catering system we 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 an area with no job, this number must be rising.
St Francis Xavier’s College 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 St Francis Xavier’s College, in these tricky financial times, to have access to all of the possible funding in order to support learning as well as we can.
Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also allowed to receive free school meals.
Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be entitled to receive free school meals.
If you think your child is entitled to free school meals, you will usually need to apply to your local council and make sure you have proof of any support you are receiving.
You can use the link below to check with your local council to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and find out how to apply
How to apply for free school meals.
If you get any of the following support payments your child may be entitled to receive free school meals:
- Income Support.
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Income related Employment Support Allowance.
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
- The guaranteed element of State 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).
If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support there is no need to complete the form – just contact Liverpool Direct and they will update your details to include free school meals.
Note: If children are over 18 and still attend school, you can claim for free school meals if you receive any of the first three allowances listed above.
Foster parents already receive funding and are not eligible for free school meals.
How to claim
The application process below is for Liverpool City Council area residents only. If you live outside of the Liverpool City Council area please contact your own education authority.
Apply online for free school meals
This online application form checks whether your child is eligible and gives you an instant answer. Please visit:
If you already receive free school meals and wish to register another child then please contact Liverpool.gov instead of completing the form again.
How are school meals paid?
If your claim is successful the school will be notified that your child can have free school meals. Schools will ensure that this information is treated with the strictest confidence and handled sensitively.
Change of circumstances
You must inform us if your circumstances change. For example, if you no longer receive benefits, move house or change school as this may affect your right to claim.
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 process is quite straightforward is and can be accessed from the school website
If you need any help with the application process please contact Miss Lindop Assistant Headteacher, telephone: 0151 288 1000, email: [email protected]