The Pupil Premium and Free School Meals – A Win-Win Situation

At a time when schools are facing reduced budgets we have one area of increased funding: the coalition Government, as part of its agreement, has introduced the Liberal-Democratic Party’s pupil premium.

The pupil premium means that the school receives £935 for every child who receives a free school meal.

As such we, as an academy, need your help.

The first thing families can do is to make sure they get their entitlement to this extra financial support from the Government. This is not charity but an entitlement.

If your family gets additional support, you should apply for a free school meal for your son or daughter – it could save you £350 a year. Our smart-card system and Wisepay means that nobody knows who pays for their meals or who is entitled to a free meal. In order to make it more convenient and easier than ever for families entitled to education benefits to access support, applications for free school meals can now be made using a digital TV service, via a smart phone, web-enabled mobile phone and game consoles (such as XBox, Wii and Playstation).

There is a lot of evidence about nutrition and achievement. A good meal at lunchtime helps students achieve. Our catering team provides a selection of bread-based snacks, fresh fruit and drinks, which all meet current Government guidelines for healthy eating. In addition, we provide two main meal options at lunchtime, one of which is always suitable to a vegetarian diet. This alone is a good argument for taking up any entitlement.

However there is an added bonus for your child if they are entitled to a free school meal. For every child who takes a free school meal we presently get £935. We use this money to invest in improvements in teaching and learning, in support programmes and in curriculum initiatives to ensure students who receive free school meals are making as good progress as any other students in the school. Click here to see how we spend our pupil premium.

This may not sound a great deal, but multiply it by the number of students who are entitled to a free meal and claim that entitlement it becomes a sum of money that can make a real difference to students’ life chances. In addition, it is estimated that 20% of those entitled to claim Free School Meals fail to do so. If this is true, we estimate that in 15/16, if everybody entitled claimed a free school meal, our school could have extra funding of £225,000. Such a sum would radically change the quality of education we could offer to students.

We therefore ask you to support our school by taking what you are entitled to. In so doing you support your family, give your child a decent midday meal each day, and provide our school with extra money to improve your child’s education.

In life win-win situations are rare. This is one of those rare occasions and we urge you to take advantage of it.  Please see details below of how to apply.

Why are they important?

Click on the picture to read the facts and figures that demonstrate the benefits of school meals and why it’s important that every child entitled to free school meals should register for and eat them.

Who qualifies?

A clear guide to the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals and other possible related benefits. Click on the picture to read more

Leaflet

Free School Meal Leaflet explaining the free school meal qualification criteria and application process, click on the picture and go to page 2 to read more information.

How do I apply?

You can apply online quickly and simply by clicking on the do it online link on this page. It should take around 10 minutes to complete. Apply online here

Please note that no part of your application will be saved until you submit the ‘Submit Form’ button at the end.
We automatically renew existing applications for free school meals in June each year, so if you still qualify there is no need to send in another application. We will only write to you if you are no longer entitled to receive free school meals.
If you have any questions, please email us at howcanwehelp@hertscc.gov.uk or call our Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4048. If you would like help completing the online form or would prefer an advisor to complete it on your behalf, please call the Customer Service Centre.
If you are hearing impaired, we recommend you apply using the online form. However if you would like to speak to someone about your application you can contact us via our minicom service on 0300 123 4041.
If your child qualifies for free school meals you may like to know more about Extended Opportunities through your school. Click on the link calledHertfordshire Extended Schools to find out more.
If you require translation services, please call the Customer Service Centre and ask the call advisor for 'Language Line'.


Other useful Information

Frequently asked questions - Free School Meals

www.thegrid.org.uk/info/meals/