Cambridgeshire families can now find out instantly if their children are entitled to free school meals at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals
Despite all children in Key Stage 1 benefitting from the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meal scheme, applications are greatly encouraged as the means-tested free school meals, administered by Cambridgeshire County Council, are provided to all school-aged children and will also allow your child's school to receive Pupil Premium, which is extra money to support children from families on lower incomes.
With recent changes to the benefit system due to the roll-out of Universal Credit, families may not necessarily realise that they qualify. Therefore this is an optimum time to apply. Those families already in receipt of free school meals need not apply as their entitlement is protected until 31 March 2022 regardless of any change in family circumstances. However applications will need to be made for younger siblings who are starting school.
Once an application has been submitted for a child, if the family do not qualify at that point, we will continue to check for future entitlement throughout that child’s school life, informing parents if they become eligible.
Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee said, “This new form makes it much quicker and easier for families to find out if they are entitled and to claim free school meals. The child’s school can also claim additional Pupil Premium funding for qualifying children to help to pay for support, equipment and school activities.”
The form can also be used to check entitlement for Early Years Pupil Premium (for 3 & 4 year olds) and free childcare for two-year-olds (up to 15 hours per week).