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Free School Meals
Free school meals really do matter, yet too many children from low income families in the UK are not registered for them or choose not to eat them. Many parents do not even realise that their child is entitled to a free school meal.
Who Qualifies for Free School Meals?
Families are entitled to free school meals for their children if they are in receipt of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with an annual income of less than £16,190, provided they are not receiving Working Tax Credit
- The ‘Guaranteed’ element of the State Pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (you will need to apply directly to the school not Bradford Council)
- Universal Credit
Please note: people receiving Working Tax Credit, regardless of their income level, do not qualify. People in receipt of Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ (the payment someone can get for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit) will be entitled to Free School Meals for their children for this period.
Why Are School Meals Important?
The benefits of children getting a free and nutritionally balanced meal are well documented, but did you know that children who qualify for Free School Meals may also get help with the following:
- Help with the cost residential school trips (you need to speak to your school about this).
- Help with travel costs to school (see Bradford Council’s school travel policy).
- Help with school uniform costs (through your child’s school).
- Help with council run music lessons at school.
- Extra funding to support them at school. This funding is known as the Pupil Premium. Primary schools will get £1,300 this year for every child registered for Free School Meals.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 all get a Free School Meal from September 2014. However, it’s important that you still complete an application form in order to get the additional benefits listed above.
How Do I Apply For Free School Meals?
You can apply online at Bradford Council’s dedicated website.
Or you can call them on 01274 432772
Or you can download and print off an application form here