Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals – what is the difference?
Free School Meals (FSM) –
Parents must meet the criteria detailed below and complete an application form. If you are eligible to claim, we encourage you to do so as each valid claim attracts additional funding to the school.
Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) –
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be eligible for a hot school meal free of charge from September, no application and no additional funding to school.
- Free School Meals (FSM) – parents complete a simple online application form or call the Free School Meals helpline on 0300 123 5012. For every pupil registered with the council as eligible under the entitlement criteria below, the school will receive additional funding in the school budget called Pupil Premium (approx. £1,000 per child) which is used to help raise achievement levels. This also includes enabling access to facilities, clubs, and subsidising trips and residentials. If you do not claim for Free School Meals, then the Pupil Premium funding will not be available for your child (e.g., subsidising the above).
Families who are eligible for FSM include those on.
- Income Support.
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance.
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance.
- Eligible for Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and the household income (as used by HRC to assess tax credits) is not more than £16,190. Please note anyone eligible for Working Tax Credit, or if you have a partner and they receive it, regardless of Income, you will not qualify.
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit (from 30th April 2005).
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
- In receipt of the 4-week run of Working Tax Credit (this is where someone becomes unemployed or reduced their hours and so is no longer entitled to Working Tax Credit but will continue to receive it for a further 4 weeks and is entitled to free meals during that time).
If you wish to claim for free school meals, please type the following web address into your computer’s browser and apply online. This is the quickest way of applying for free school meals.
Look at the benefits:
- A free school meal for your child, which is good for their health and could help their learning.
- Savings for you, worth over £350 a year.
- Extra money for the school through Pupil Premium, worth at least £1320 a year.
Remember – just registering your child for Free School Meals means that St Augustine’s CE Primary School receives the extra money even if you don’t take up the free meal. No one will know you have registered and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming. If your child is currently in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 you STILL NEED TO APPLY.
- Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) – From September 2014, all children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 will be eligible for a Universal Infant Free School Meal. No application is needed but no additional funding to your child’s school, as per the Pupil Premium.
The provision of Universal Infant Free School Meals aims to play a key role in promoting and supporting healthy eating and lifestyles. It will enable children to try a wider range of foods, as well as give them the fuel they need for an afternoon of focused and high-quality learning.
To sum up:
- If you meet the suggested criteria for FSM, please submit a claim and this will maintain the level of funding to school.
- A blanket entitlement to Universal Infant FSM will be provided to all in Reception Class, or Year 1 or Year 2 class.
- Pupils in Nursery, Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 do not qualify for the UIFSM, but if you meet the criteria for FSM they will receive for a hot school meal free of charge from the date of acceptance.