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Richard Coates 

CE Primary School

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Free School Meals

Could your child be entitled to additional school funding?


In our school,  if your child is entitled to Free School Meals (FSM), the school receives additional funding, through a programme called ‘Pupil Premium’ which we use to support pupils in the following ways:


  • Providing additional academic support for FSM children who need to boost progress or be challenged further.
  • Providing financial support towards additional costs of educational trips.
  • Providing financial support towards uniform and equipment.
  • Additional resources to support educational needs.


The following information will help you establish whether you qualify.


Who can get free school meals?


All pupils in reception, year one or year two in any primary school is entitled to ‘universal’ free school meals. This is not the same as ‘Free School Meals’ (FSM).


Pupils that are eligible for free school meals receive additional funding called ‘Pupil Premium.’  If you apply and are eligible, even if at some point your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the actual free school meal, school will receive the Pupil Premium funding for six years.  Which means all the additional supported listed at the top of this letter will continue for the next 6 years. (Or, whilst your child is at our school).


Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can also apply for FSM (even though they get universal free school meals), and are encouraged to do so, as this will grant the Pupil Premium funding and FSM benefits to the pupil, alongside the universal free school meals.


However, you have to apply to see if you are eligible, as you will not automatically get the additional support. 


You may be eligible for free school meals if you get:


  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA-IR)
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB-JSA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’- the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit/Universal Credit


The pupil premium gives schools extra funding to raise the achievement of your child. It is worth over £1000 per pupil for the school and provides a highly valuable impact on the additional support we are able to provide to your child.


Who can register for pupil premium / FSM?


If you receive one of the above benefits that entitle your child to free school meals and the additional funding through Pupil Premium, you should make an application through your local council.


If your child is in or starting reception, year one or year two they will receive the universal free school meals which you don’t have to apply for. However, if you think you are eligible for ‘Free School Meals’ then it is important that you apply – so that you don’t miss out on the Pupil Premium funding for your child. If you get any of the above benefits, please register your child so the school can benefit from pupil premium.

Your child’s ‘Universal’ free school meals will stop at the end of year two, unless you receive the above qualifying benefits and you have already registered your child with us.


How to apply for free school meals and pupil premium.


Please complete the online form with our local authority: 




If you have received this benefit in the past and have moved to us from another authority: ie your child has attended a Newcastle school can you please call Northumberland County Council on 01670 623592 as even if your circumstances have changed you might still qualify and they will check for you.


What happens next?


If you are eligible, the authority will let the school know that your child can have free school meals, we then have arrangements for letting the dinner service staff know.


Once your application has been granted for free school meals and pupil premium you never need to complete another application. The authority will check on a regular basis that your children are still entitled to the meals and will let you know if you are no longer eligible.

The school holds information on pupils who access Pupils Premium and FSM alongside other confidential records and does not release this (other than statistics) to other agencies.


Once we have confirmation of your child’s FSM status the school office will also:


  • Make you aware of any up-coming trips that you will be able to claim a reduction in costs for.
  • We will also provide a voucher each July for school wear, to cover the cost of 2 x Sweatshirts or Cardigans with school logo, 3 x Polo shirts, 1 x PE Polo Shirt and black shorts, from ‘Emblematic Ltd’.
  • In your first year we will also provide a PE bag and a book bag.


Please don’t hesitate to contact the school office should require any further help or support.

The following is designed as a simple guide to support ALL parents in making a decision as to whether they should make an application for Free School Meals.