Why choose School Meals?
School lunches are healthy, well balanced and nutritious. They contain the essential vitamins and minerals a child needs to help them grow, develop, fight infection and have the energy to lead a happy and healthy life.
Menus are nutritionally analysed and approved by a nutritionist to meet the new guidelines which have nutritional standards.
- Fresh meat and poultry. (Halal option daily)
- Fresh local fruit and vegetables are used whenever possible.
- Food is prepared and freshly cooked each day.
- Fat used in baking does not contain hydrogenated fats.
Free school meals (Pupil Premium)
Free school meals are a statutory means-tested benefit which provides a child or young person with meals at school for free.
We want to make sure that everyone who is eligible is using this benefit. Some parents in the borough who are eligible to claim free school meals for their children are not claiming their entitlement.
Taking up free school meals has positive outcomes for everyone:
children can benefit from a healthy free nutritious meal
families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year by claiming free school meals
it’s anonymous for parents (because so much of the application process can be done online, a person's entitlement is mostly processed electronically)
it’s anonymous for young people (thanks to our cashless catering system, claiming free school meals is anonymous – cards are swiped in the same way as a paid-for meal so nobody knows that it’s a free school meal)
schools can benefit directly by receiving money from the government
Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £1,320 for your child’s primary school or £935 for your child’s secondary school, paid by the government, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities. Your school could benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds.
If you have a live claim for free school meals this will automatically be carried over and awarded for your child from 1st September 2018. Any child moving from infants to junior or junior to secondary schools with a live award will also automatically be moved over to the new allocated school. New claims are not required for any child with a current live award for free school meals.
Letters will not be sent to either parents or schools; all schools will be notified and sent a full report detailing all live free school meals awards valid from September 2018 so they can update their systems.
Who can claim free school meals
If you are on a low income or receive Child Benefit and any of these benefits, you could claim free school meals for your child:
- Child Tax credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- 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
- 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 (earnings after tax and not including any benefits you get)
You may qualify for free school meals for your child if:
- you are an asylum seeker
- you live outside Barking and Dagenham but meet the previous criteria and your child is attending a school in the borough
- your only or main income is one of the benefits listed
Universal free school meals (Key Stage 1)
Your child will still be able to get free school meals under the current universal free school meals policy if they’re in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2
To ensure your child’s school receives the additional funding for Pupil Premium, complete the new application form available at your child's school reception.
Apply for Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)
Make sure you have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number to hand when applying for free school meals.
All schools have been asked to treat the application and award of free school meals sensitively.
Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)
All children who are in Key Stage 1 (Reception, Year 1 and 2) at a state-funded school are offered a free healthy school lunch.
Children in other school years will be offered a free school meal if their parent or guardian is receiving any welfare benefits or has a low household income.
Registering your child enables your child’s school to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after-school activities.
You can apply for Free School Meals online by completing the application found here
You can find information about our school meal provider here
We are a 'cashless' school and do not collect money. Every parent has a ParentPay account and this will need topping up regularly in order to ensure sufficient funds are in your child's account for them to purchase a meal.
Healthy lunch guidance for parents
If you think you need ideas for your child's packed lunch, remember you can include:
sandwich/wrap/pasta/pitta bread/bread roll
fillings of cheese,ham,turkey,tuna,salad
vegetable sticks- carrot,cucumber,pepper,celery