Free School Meals
As individual family circumstances change then you may find that you are now eligible for Free School Meals for your children. At Plumcroft, we have been sending out weekly £15 e-vouchers since Wednesday 25th March 2020 (thanks to our brilliant data integration partner called Wonde) to all those families who are currently eligible for support through the Free School Meal system (see current eligibility criteria below).
If you think you may be eligible then please go to - https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/sims - you will need to have either your National Insurance number or other proof of identity to ensure the online application is processed as quickly as possible. This is the quickest way to check for eligibility and will auto-update our systems so we can send you e-vouchers straight away – we’re now paying the £15 per week, per child during the holidays as well. You simply choose your supermarket (ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Morrison’s) and then you get the e-voucher on your phone and/or email. Next time you go shopping, just scan the e-voucher barcode and that’s it. You can also use the code if you shop online.
These are challenging times and so if you have a child from Reception to Year 2 and they previously had a free lunch as part of the Universal Infant Free School Meal Programme (UIFSM) then you will not be getting the e-vouchers unless you make an online application and meet the eligibility criteria (see below). Please note that if you do meet the criteria then you will also get money to help with buying school uniform and towards the cost of school trips (when they resume). If you’re not sure, then why not spend 10 minutes checking online at - https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/sims - just click and complete the short online check and then you will know. We will update you if the government expands the eligible criteria to include things such as being furloughed etc.
The other benefit is that the school will also receive an additional ‘Pupil Premium’ for every child that is entitled to a Free School Meal – this will help us provide extra resources, so please check now, even if you don’t think you are, who knows, you might be:
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- 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 - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
- Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.