The saying goes that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but for some children in Cardiff a free meal is available every single school day. If you qualify for free school meals don’t miss out on your entitlement as you could save £361 per annum for completing the form!
Some parents have not applied for free school meals for their children, even though they qualify. This could be for a number of reasons, maybe they don’t realise they qualify; perhaps they think applying is more difficult than it is, or some have concerns about bullying and the stigma attached to free school meals. Let us answer some of your questions!
Who is entitled to free school meals?
Your child or children may qualify for free school meals if you are able to meet the following criteria:
- You or your partner have a child for whom you receive child benefit and who is attending a school or college in Cardiff
And you and your partner are:
- Receiving Income Support
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Receiving Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) with an annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) not exceeding £16,190
- Receive support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Receive Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ESA (IR))
- Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
How to apply for free school meals
Applying for free school meals is a lot easier than you might think. If you think you may be eligible for free school meals you should apply to the Local Authority using the free school meal application form.
For further information, please complete on-line application form or contact:
Chief Schools & Lifelong Learning Officer
Schools & Lifelong Learning Service
Should your circumstances change, for example you start work or your working hours increase to more than 16 hours a week, or you are no longer entitled to Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must let the Local Authority know straight away.
The practicalities of free school meals
Many parents are concerned that there may be a stigma attached to free school meals that could cause their children to be singled out by their school friends. We understand that school can be a challenging period of any child’s life and we don’t want to add to that unnecessarily. So we make sure that free school meals are administered discreetly so that there is no distinction between children who receive free school meals and children who pay.
Each school receives details of the children who qualify for free school meals. They then administer the scheme locally according to their own procedures but they all stick to the same guidelines to ensure that the scheme is administered in the same discreet fashion.