Free School Meals
Many of you may not be aware that the government funding for schools has changed recently, and that a percentage of our school budget - Pupil Premium funding - is now calculated according to how many of our pupils are, or have ever been, eligible for free school meals, during their school life. This change is having a major impact on the funding we receive towards educating our pupils. By ensuring that as many eligible families as possible have applied to the local authority for free school meals, we will receive our maximum Pupil Premium funding (currently £1320 per qualifying child), which enables us to provide the best education for our pupils.
We know that sometimes, eligible families are reluctant to make a claim, often because:
· they feel that their child may be treated differently at lunchtime
· their child would prefer to have a packed lunch
· they may only fall into the eligible category for a short period of time, due to temporary changes in their financial circumstances
We would like to reassure you that those children who are eligible for free school meals are treated in exactly the same way at lunchtime. In addition, those children who would prefer a packed lunch from home may continue to do so – school still receives the funding. Furthermore, funding is now based on children who have ever been eligible, even if this was for a short time.
We would like to encourage any family, who feel they may be eligible for free school meals, to apply either on the attached form, or online on the Rochdale council website – even if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and is provided with a school meal free of charge already, this is different to free school meal entitlement. By doing so, you will help us to secure additional funding for school, which will be used to enhance your child/children’s education.
School will be entitled to claim this Pupil Premium funding for any pupil whose parents/carers are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
· Income Support
· Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
· Income-related Employment Support Allowance
· Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
· The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
· Child Tax Credit, with no Working Tax Credit, where the annual gross income does not exceed £16,190
· Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit