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Guidance from Derbyshire County Council regarding free school meals.

Applying for free school meals can save families over £470 per child, per year.  Therefore, schools are recommended to encourage all parents to apply using the digital portal.

Families only need to apply once for the entire school life in a Derbyshire setting, as the council's database will follow the child as they move from school to school, and the team are able to run a check on all the data we hold monthly.

To offer extended protection, whilst Universal Credit is fully administered, the government has ensured that any pupil eligible on 1 April 2018, or who becomes eligible at any point after that, retains their eligibility until March 2025 and after that date until the end of their current phase of education. This ensures that both schools and families can plan their finances better, knowing that the funding will remain in place.

The benefit of pupil premium is also attached to each child who is eligible for free school meals. In addition to pupil premium paid whilst the pupil is either eligible or protected, the grant is also paid for an additional 6 years after the end of eligibility for the child – also referred to as Ever6.

Children in nursery settings can also be eligible for free school meals, provided they meet the criteria. In addition to meeting the eligibility check, the child must be over 3 years of age and attend at least a two-hour session both immediately prior to and after the lunchtime period.

For further information, please contact the Checking service:

telephone: 01629 536481

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