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Free School Meals – is your child eligible?

If you are in receipt of benefits or are working and on a low income, your child(ren) may be entitled to receive Free School Meals and other benefits.

Every child registered will receive Free School Meals worth over £350 a year.

Also, the Government is giving money to schools to help children from lower income families do their very best. This funding is called a Pupil Premium and is paid to the Academy for each child who has registered to receive free school meals. Currently this is £935 per secondary pupil and £1,320 per primary pupil.

By registering for free school meals, parents can not only receive the benefit of free school meals for their children, but will also improve the funding received by the Academy for the benefit of the learners.

If you are registered for Free School Meals you could also get:

  • Free milk – in First or Special Schools, milk at break-time will be free
  • Help with music tuition and instruments

Registering for Free School Meals will be treated in strict confidence and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.

To apply for free school meals visit Free School Meals.

Packed Lunches

The UK government produced packed lunch guidance to support the implementation of new school food standards for school lunches and ensure that all children benefit from eating quality food during the school day.

The guidelines are:

  • One portion of fruit and one portion of vegetable or salad every day to be included in packed lunches.
  • Meat, fish or another source of non-dairy protein should be included every day. Non-dairy sources of protein include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus, peanut butter and falafel.
  • An oily fish, such as salmon, should be included at least once every three weeks.
  • A starchy food, such as bread or pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other cereals, should be included every day.
  • A dairy food, such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard should be included every day.
  • Free, fresh drinking water should be available at all times.
  • Include only water, still or sparkling, fruit juice, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks and smoothies.
  • Snacks such as crisps should not be included. Instead, include seeds (no nuts), vegetables and fruit (with no added salt, sugar or fat). Savoury crackers or breadsticks served with fruit, vegetables or dairy food are also a good choice.
  • Confectionery such as chocolate bars, chocolate-coated biscuits and sweets should not be included. Cakes and biscuits are allowed but these should be part of a balanced meal.
  • Meat products such as sausage rolls, individual pies corned meat and sausages / chipolatas should be included only occasionally.

To ensure consistency and to keep packed lunches in line with food standards for school meals, packed lunches should not contain the following:

  • Fizzy / sugary drinks in cartons, bottles or cans.
  • Fruit flavoured squash or drinks such as Ribena, Capri Sun or Fruit Shoots.
  • Chocolate-coated products / sweets / confectionary. Chocolate spread as a filling for sandwiches.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Sugared / toffee and salted popcorn.

Occasionally, the following may be included:

  • Snacks such as crisps.
  • Meat products such as sausage rolls, individual pies, corned meat and sausages – these foods have a very high fat and salt content.
  • Cakes and plain biscuits are allowed but children should be encouraged to eat these only as part of a balanced meal.

For support on how to prepare healthy packed lunches, visit NHS Change4Life.

The school recognises that some pupils may require special diets that do not allow for the standards to be met exactly. In this case, parents are urged to be responsible for ensuring that packed lunches are as healthy as possible.