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Free School Meals and Pupil Premium Funding
We recognise that due to COVID-19, many circumstances for our families have changed and in order to ensure that we continue to support all students I would like to bring to your attention details of Pupil Premium funding. This funding is given to schools for students who are registered for free school meals. At present, the schools receive a significant sum per student and this extends to all students who may have been eligible for and were in receipt of free school meals at any point in the last six years.
A sum like this can make a significant difference to the quality of provision a school is able to provide and subsequently contributes to the life chances of our students.
Coherent with Southwark council’s commitment to equity and equality we strongly believe that it is extremely important that we do all that we can to ensure that eligible students access their entitlement. The first thing that families can do is make sure they access their entitlement from the Government by registering their child for free school meals.
Are you eligible to claim free school meals?
A common misconception is that you must be on benefits to claim. Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents receive any of the following:
- Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
- Working Tax Credit run-on: paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Students in receipt of free school meals receive an allowance for each day to spend in the school canteen. There is a lot of evidence about nutrition and achievement.
What can schools use Pupil Premium funding for?
Schools receive additional funding for every student registered as receiving free school meals and this is used to support these students in a variety of ways in their education. For example: school trips to enhance student learning; music tuition to provide an alternative learning perspective; clubs and interventions to support classroom learning and teaching; learning resources such as revision guides, textbooks and other equipment; and help with travel costs and uniform.
This is a great opportunity, which I urge you to take advantage of. In doing so, you support your family and provide our schools with the money they need to improve your child’s education and access to additional experiences.
Assistant Director, Learning and Achievement, Southwark Council