A message from CCBC-
Many children within Caerphilly CBC are already eating free school meals, but there are some who are not, even though their parents/carers may be eligible. The concern is that children may be missing out on this important benefit to which they are entitled. Additionally, the number of free school meal claimants is a factor in reporting school performance and is also used by Welsh Government to determine levels of funding for schools and the Council.
Parents who pay for their child to have school meals could save around £580 per year if they qualify for free school meals.
A child may be entitled to receive free school meals if their parent/carer is entitled to receive one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit.
Accessing free school meals also allows them to receive a one-off clothing grant of £105 when the child is moving from primary school to their first year of secondary school.
Even if their child currently takes a packed lunch to school they will still save money and also time; it has been estimated that they could save up to 190 hours a year, which is the time needed to make packed lunches that meet the nutritional standards of school meals – that’s just over a week!
In addition schools receive £1150 additional funding for every child registered for Free School Meals. This funding must be directly targeted at Free School Meal pupils.
Parents and carers are asked to make a claim if they believe that they may be entitled to free school meals for their children and do not already do so. Our catering team provides an excellent range of healthy lunch options that are enjoyed daily by a significant number of our pupils. Their child may well be able to access these free of charge.