Free School Meals
Universal FSM and Pupil Premium FSM
A Message to all Parents about Free School Meals
Currently, pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can all receive free school meals. These are paid for by government funding and the provision is called Universal Free School Meals or UFSM. Children do not have to take up the UFSM offer but at Oak Hill we strongly encourage our children to do so.
We know that when children have regular opportunities to share lunch together with their friends, it has a profoundly important impact on every single child's health, development, wellbeing and their educational attainment.
'School dinners' can bring back quite unpleasant memories for some of us, but today's school meals are a different experience entirely! The current school lunch menu is available below so you can get an idea of what is on offer.
In addition to the UFSM funding, parents in low income families or those who are unemployed can also apply for Pupil Premium funding so that their children can continue to receive free school meals in subsequent school years (Year 3 and onwards).
If your child receives UFSM and you think you qualify for Pupil Premium FSM (info below) I urge you to apply now even though your child's school meals are paid for by the universal scheme. Please don't wait until your child moves into Year 3.
Pupil Premium funding (paid on top of funding for free school meals) can also give children access to some discounted educational trips and events throughout their school years. Every school manages pupil premium funding slightly differently but the main focus across all schools is on schools
If your child is in Years 3, 4, 5 or 6 and you think you may qualify for Pupil Premium FSM but haven't yet applied, I urge you to take this opportunity to apply. It is a quick, easy and totally confidential service. Full details are provided below.
We are urging families to apply for Pupil Premium FSM even if they don't intend to take up the free school meals. The extra funding our school receives through Pupil Premium helps to enhance provision and in turn, improve children's progress and outcomes.
The extra funding our school receives for every child entitled to Pupil Premium's makes it a very important part of our school's overall plans. Public Premium helps us to ensure every single child at Oak Hill has full access to all opportunities and experiences offered to prepare them for life in all its fullness.
Please read on to find out how to check if you are eligible for Pupil Premium FSM
and if so, how to apply for this financial support.
A child may be eligible for free school meals (FSM) if their parents receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided the parents are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
- Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax credit
- Universal Credit – for those applying on or after 1 April 2018, their household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits they get). See section below for protections in place for those affected by the introduction of this income threshold
Children may also get FSM if they receive any of these benefits directly, instead of through a parent.
You will receive an instant response confirming if you are entitled to this school funding.
All you need to apply is your National Insurance number and a current email address. The online eligibility portal will complete all checks. Claims start from the day an application is made and cannot be back dated. Paper forms are available but they do take longer to process.
Once your application has been approved you don't need to do anything else. Our office staff will be notified by secure email from GCC. Arrangements will be made to provide your child with a free school meal and, depending on their age, with free school milk.
None of your child's school friends will know about the Pupil Premium funding. Your child's lunch and milk break experiences will be exactly the same as everyone else, including full menu choices.
If your financial circumstances change after you've successfully applied, don't worry - the extra funding continues to be paid to school for up to six years. If your circumstances remain the same, you don't need to do anything even when your child moves to secondary school. The only time you need to contact the GCC FSM team is if your circumstances change or your child is moving to a school in a different county.
Keeping up to date with the usual paperwork relating to your benefits ensures your child's right to access Pupil Premium funding is maintained. You don't need to do anything extra once you've completed the simple online application above.
Information you supply to apply for Pupil Premium FSM is held securely and will only be used for the purposes of establishing entitlement and to confirm this with other agencies, as required by law, to verify your initial and continuing right to this important source of education funding.
No one will know you have registered and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.
If you have any queries, please contact Mr Greaves in confidence by telephone or by email email@example.com
Last reviewed, updated and re-launched 29 November 2021