UNIVERSAL INFANT FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Every infant child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is entitled to have a free meal at school. The Government has made this decision because a good lunch makes an enormous difference to children’s health, development and ability to learn. It is also important that children develop good healthy eating habits to combat the rising problem of childhood obesity. If you would like your child or children to receive a free meal at school, you must print off, complete and return the application form below or contact the school office for a paper copy.
APPLYING FOR FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Children who attend a Somerset County Council school, whose parents or carers receive certain benefits may be entitled to free school meals.
It is the responsibility of the parents or carers to register their entitlement and request that free school meals are provided for their children.
Free school meals are available to children whose parents qualify by meeting the criteria below. Children must be in school all day and they will be provided with a meal at lunchtime which is paid for by the school.
Children in pre-school or nursery (known as childcare providers) do not qualify for a free meal until they start school, but applications can be processed so that when your child starts school, you will already be notified whether they qualify for a free school meal or not.
Parents and carers who receive any of the following are entitled to free school meals:
If you have recently become unemployed, but are still receiving Working Tax Credits, you may be entitled to free school meals. Please phone us on 0300 123 2224 for advice.
Only the benefits listed above qualify for free school meals. No other benefit entitles parents or carers to free school meals for their children.
HOW TO APPLY
You do not need to send evidence with this application. If the County Council need evidence at a later date they will contact you.
They will enter your details into a system which will inform them whether you are entitled or not. They will tell you the outcome, usually within 5 to 10 working days of getting the application. If you are eligible, they will tell you how to start receiving free school meals.
If your child is entitled to a free school meal, but requires a special medical diet, the school can arrange for an appropriate meal to be provided. You will need to ask your doctor to write a letter explaining which foods must be avoided.
Once Free School Meals has been awarded to a child, they will remain in place for that child until at least March 2022 regardless of any change in circumstances, when it will be reviewed in line with the latest government requirements.