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Free School Meals and Pupil Premium

How to apply for free school meals at participating schools

Apply for free school meals online

Your child may be able to get free school meals (FSM) if you (as parents/guardians) get any of the following:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods). If your latest assessment statement shows your net earned income was no more than £616.67 you will be entitled to free school meals
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance*
  • income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (from the National Asylum Support Service)
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working tax credit run on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

*Children who receive income based Jobseeker's Allowance in their own right can also get free school lunches.

Applying for Free School Meals

To apply for free school meals at West Berkshire schools and maintained nurseries you can:

  • Apply online.
    It's quick and easy and you can do this at a time that is convenient for you - we'll contact you about your application and to confirm that you qualify
  • Apply over the phone.
    We'll take you through the form for you right there and then, just have your National Insurance number ready

Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium is extra government funding that is paid to schools for every child who's eligible for free school meals throughout their time at school. It can help to pay for important things, like school trips, uniforms and PE kit, music lessons, and additional help with subjects like English and Maths.

Getting the right information to make sure that Pupil Premium money can be claimed for your child is sometimes complicated for schools.

If your child qualifies for free school meals, or has at any point in the past six years, it's important that you tell their school so they can get the extra funding.

This applies even if your child is:

  • In reception, year 1 or year 2 and receives universal school meals for infant pupils
  • In year 3 or older and takes a packed lunch

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