Slough moves into covid tier 2

The change will come into force at 00:01 Saturday 24 October. Find out more details about Slough going into tier 2 and what it means.

Please go to our coronavirus pages for the latest guidance, how services are affected, and what help is available.

Free school meals

Free school meals during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

New applications

Please read the information on this page fully before you submit an application. If you submit an eligibility application to us, it will be processed as soon as possible. The result will be communicated to both you and your child's school. 

Eligible children

If your child is, or becomes eligible, their school will provide some form of free school meals. Where children:

  • are attending school, meals will likely be provided in school.
  • are not attending school, alternative arrangements will be put in place. Each school will determine what these arrangements look like - most opt to provide supermarket vouchers.

These alternative arrangements will remain in place during the summer holiday provided your child is eligible at least one week before the holiday starts.

Any child who becomes eligible for free school meals during the summer holidays will not receive any alternative form of meals e.g. vouchers. These children will begin receiving free school meals once they return to school in September.

Vouchers

As we are not involved in the allocation of supermarket vouchers, we are unable to offer any assistance for them. If you believe you should have had a voucher but have not received it, please contact your child's school directly. Go to the Edenred site for any queries or problems to do with the vouchers you have been issued or email freeschoolmealsparentscarers@edenred.com.

Am I eligible for free school meals?

You will be able to claim free school meals for your child if you receive one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have a net income from employment of no more than £7400 per year).  For more information on how the government calculates your earnings from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, please see the "Eligibility under Universal Credit" section below.
  • 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 guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Eligibility under Universal Credit

To be eligible for free school meals, a Universal Credit recipient must have earnings from employment which do not exceed £7400 per year. Whether you exceed the £7400 per year threshold is determined by looking at any earnings from employment reported on your most recent Universal Credit statements.  Firstly, the last complete Universal Credit assessment period is reviewed for income from employment in excess of £616.67 (one twelfth of the £7400 threshold).

If income from employment in the most recent Universal Credit period is less than £616.67, an applicant is eligible for free school meals.  If it exceeds £616.67, then combined income from employment in the last two and then the last three assessment periods are considered (assuming Universal Credit has been received for longer than one complete period). The full income from employment thresholds are:

  • £616.67 in the last assessment period (one twelfth of the £7400 threshold).  If income is less than this amount in the most recent assessment period, an applicant is eligible for free school meals.  If income exceeds this amount then:
  • £1233.34 in the last two assessment periods (one sixth of the £7400 threshold).  If the combined income is less than this amount in the two most recent assessment periods, an applicant is eligible for free school meals.  If income exceeds this amount then:
  • £1850 in the last three assessment periods (one quarter of the £7400 threshold).  If the combined income is less than this in the three most recent assessment periods, an applicant is eligible for free school meals.  If income exceeds this amount then an applicant is not currently eligible.

Universal Credit recipients can determine the amount of income from employment recorded on their claim by referring to the deductions section of their Universal Credit statements. An "earnings reported by your employer" amount will be recorded if appropriate.

Universal Infant Free School Meals

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 receive free school meals under the government's Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme. Your child's school will provide more information on this scheme and details on how to access free meals for your child.

We strongly encourage all parents who believe they also meet the benefit related free school meals criteria to complete one of our application forms, even if you already access free meals under the Universal scheme. If you meet the benefit related criteria, your school will also benefit from additional funding known as Pupil Premium.

Eligibility during COVID-19 pandemic

Existing free school meal applicants

If you have children who are entitled to receive free school meals on benefit related grounds, their school will continue to make sure they have access to meals during the pandemic. Children who have now returned to school may have their meals provided in school. Or for those who have not yet returned to school, either supermarket vouchers will be provided or other arrangements put in place e.g. food parcels. Your child's school will provide further information.

Provision will also be extended to cover the summer holidays.

New free school meal applicants

If you wish to make a new claim for free school meals, you may do so via your child's school or our free school meals online application form (unless your child attends Baylis Court School, Godolphin Junior School or Phoenix Infant School - please contact these schools directly).

Anyone who is deemed eligible for free school meals will receive the provision outlined above. Provision will continue during the summer holidays, but only if you become eligible before your child's school has formalised it's school food arrangements for the summer break. Your child's school can provide further information.

Universal infant free school meal recipients 

Children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 who receive a universal infant free school meal will not receive continued provision unless they also qualify on benefit related grounds.

Temporary extension of free school meal eligibility to groups who have no recourse to public funds

The government have temporarily extended free school meal eligibility to the groups listed below. Eligibility under these categories will only remain in place until schools re-open. If you believe you meet one of these criteria, please email us on fsm.admin@slough.gov.uk or contact your child's school.

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
  • children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

How do I apply for free school meals?

Children attending Baylis Court School, Godolphin Junior School or Phoenix Infant Academy

If you think you qualify for free school meals you must apply directly via the school:

Children attending any other Slough school or Trevelyan Middle School, Windsor

If you think you qualify for free school meals you can apply either by:

To use our online form you must supply an e-mail address so we can inform you of the result of your application.  If you don't have an e-mail address or would prefer to complete a paper application form, please apply through your child's school.

Please make sure you have the following information ready before making an application:

  • Your National Insurance number, or if you are an Asylum Seeker your National Asylum Support Service number (NASS)
  • Your personal information including your date of birth and full legal name
  • Your child's name and school
  • Details of the benefits you currently receive

What happens when I apply?

Upon receipt, your application is assessed against data held by the government.  The information they hold will confirm whether or not you are claiming one of the qualifying benefits and if applicable, whether you also meet the household income threshold.  Once your application has been processed, both you and your child's school will be e-mailed with the result.  Please read the information contained within the result e-mail very carefully.  If you are eligible for free school meals, you child's school will contact you regarding the free school meal provision they offer.

Protection of free school meal eligibility

If your child is or becomes eligible for free school meals on benefit related grounds, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023 even if your circumstances change. This protection has been introduced whilst the government completes its rollout of Universal Credit nationally.

What is Pupil Premium?

Pupil Premium is a sum of money the government gives to schools each year to help them improve the attainment of disadvantaged children.  The amount each school gets is determined by the number of pupils at school who:

  • have been eligible for free school meals at some point in the last 6 years
  • are looked after by the local authority
  • are no longer looked after by a local authority because they have been adopted, had a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order

For each child who has been eligible for free school meals at some point in the last 6 years, primary schools receive £1320 and secondary schools receive £935.