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Guidance from Derbyshire County Council regarding school meals including free school meals

FSM eligibility

Free school meals can help save families over £400 per year per child; therefore schools are strongly recommended to encourage all parents to apply in any of the following ways:

Online - by completing the online application form on the Derbyshire County Council website.

By email to: and one of the team will respond, requesting the necessary information.

Paper Registration Form: available in all schools. Completed forms can be forwarded to the team by the internal post or scanned and sent via the secure portal or scanned to the team's email address.

By telephone: call any member of the Free School Meals team (telephone numbers and working patterns below):

  • Sue Upton: 07812 475248 or 01629 535743 - Wednesday (pm only), Thursday and Friday
  • Andy Burton: 07812 475250 or 01629 536481 - Monday to Friday full time
  • Fiona Land: 01629 536475 - Monday (am only) and Tuesday
  • Jane Garratt: 01629 536475 - Monday
  • Rachel Wright: 01629 536788 - Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (am only each day)

The team checks all the data monthly prior to sending out new reports to schools to capture any families that do become eligible. Families just need to apply once for the entire school life in Derbyshire settings, as the council's database will follow the child as they move from school to school.

In order 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 2023 and also for the 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 (pp) is also attached to each child who is eligible for free school meals. In addition to pp 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.

If you have any queries regarding your catering provision, please contact your Operational Catering Manager or:

Sara Jones, Catering Service Manager - primary schools
Mobile: 07748 624247


Joanne Davidson, Acting Catering Service Manager - secondary schools
Mobile: 07805 764012