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Tuesday 26 March 2019

Parents encouraged to check their eligibility for free school meals and support their school

Cheshire East Council is raising awareness of the eligibility for free schools meals and the pupil premium that comes with this.

For every child registered for free school meals their school receives a pupil premium. For each primary school, this could equate to up to £1,320 per child per year, or up to £935 for each secondary school.

For children in Year 3 through to Year 13 there is an eligibility criteria to meet in order to qualify for free school meals. This is to be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

● Income support; 

● Income related job seekers allowance;  

● Income related employment and support allowance;  

● Universal credit with wages of £616.67 or less each month;

● The guarantee element of state pension credit;

● Child Tax credit with an annual income which does not exceed £16,190 and no working tax credit; or 

● Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Children in reception through to Year 2 are automatically entitled to a free school meal through a universal scheme, regardless of your income. But if parents are receiving one of the qualifying benefits, they could also get the pupil premium for their school by applying online.

Mark Palethorpe, Acting Executive Director of People, Cheshire East Council said: “It’s really important that parents are aware of the criteria for free schools meals and take advantage of a benefit they may be entitled to.

“It may not be common knowledge that for every pupil registered for free meals the school receives a pupil premium. This is invaluable to schools and could make a real difference to its pupils through additional equipment or resources. This could be a double win for parents, utilising a benefit they are entitled to and supporting their school in the process.”

Find out now if you are eligible and make an online application (quoting FSM2019) at: If you require assistance completing an online application, call 0300 123 5012.

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