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Free School Meals

Free School Meals

Children in Reception, year 1 and year 2 are all entitled to a free school meal each day funded by the government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme, irrespective of the family income.


Children in Nursery and years 3-6 are only eligible to receive free school meals (FSM) if their parents are in receipt of certain benefits:-

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The guaranteed 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)

  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get) at the time of your application. If your income goes above the threshold in the future, but you remain on Universal Credit, your child will remain eligible. If you applied before 1 April 2018 there was no household income threshold for Universal Credit claimant


Why apply for free school meals?

The number of children who qualify for free school meals affects our school funding so we still ask all parents for permission for us to check their free school meal status, even if they are currently receiving free meals under the government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme. At present, the school receives pupil premium funding of £1345 per year for any children who are entitled to free school meals which we use to fund additional teachers and important family support services. For information about how this is used to benefit your child, please click here to see the Pupil Premium Report.


How to Apply

We have tried to make the free school meal application process (and termly re-checks) as easy as possible for parents. At Tidemill, we ask for your details (date of birth, national insurance number and surname) as part of our admission process. By providing this information, you are consenting to us running termly checks to see if you are eligible for free school meals.

If you are eligible for free school meals, as a token of our appreciation, Tidemill will make a termly deposit into your account on our payment system. The Free School Meal Grant (£25 per annum) can be used to pay for trips, clubs and even school uniform.


Please contact the school office if you require help applying for free school meals.