Free School Meals – are you missing out?

We know from our records that a number of parents do not claim for their entitlement of a Free School Meal for their son/daughter. Free school meals entitlement enables your child to have a free hot or cold lunch every day. The school will also receive additional funding to spend on extra support for your child. This additional funding continues to apply for several years after a student ceases to be eligible for free meals, so it’s still worth applying, even if you think you will qualify for only a short period of time.

Free school meals are not automatically available – an application needs to be completed and returned to County Hall. You may be eligible if:

  1. Your child attends school in Northumberland or you reside in Northumberland, and
  2. You get any of the following benefits:
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

You can check your eligibility and apply either:

  • Online (www.northumberland.gov.uk/fsm)
  • By telephone: 01670 623 592

We appreciate that some parents do not claim free school meals as they feel that they can manage without, but the school will receive vital funding even if meals are not taken, and your child will be entitled to other types of support.
With the cashless catering system, the student can be assured of total anonymity. Their catering account is topped up automatically with £2.55 every day, which is the price of a ‘meal deal’. Alternatively, this may be spent on individual items in the food areas, at either breakfast, break or lunch. Please note that students cannot ‘save up’ their allowance from one day to the next. You may wish to add money to their account to enable them to purchase additional items above the £2.55 free school meal allocation.

If you think you might be eligible, please make a claim as soon as possible and use your entitlement – don't let your school miss out on this important extra funding that will benefit your child.

If you would like any further information regarding our school lunches, please see our website or contact the school office.