Free School Meals

School Information: Free School Meals

Free school meals are provided for children who are attending a school maintained by the Borough of Poole on a full-time basis. You can claim for any child who you are the parent of according to the definition of parent in the Education Act (1996) - any child whom you have parental responsibility for, or is in your care.

Who can I claim for?
Free school meals are provided for children who are attending a school maintained by the Borough of Poole on a full-time basis. You can claim for any child who you are the parent of according to the definition of parent in the Education Act (1996) ie any child whom you have parental responsibility for or is in your care.

How do you know if I am entitled?
When you provide us with your National Insurance number and date of birth we can check your entitlement online through a secure website provided by the Department for Education. This means that you may not need to send in any paper evidence and your entitlement will continue until you stop receiving the qualifying benefit or you tell us otherwise. The Department for Education records will normally confirm whether or not you’re entitled to free school meals. However, in some cases these records may not detect the qualifying benefit, in which case you will need to provide paper evidence.

If you do not wish to supply your National Insurance number and date of birth, or if these do not confirm that you are eligible, you will need to provide paper evidence that you receive one of the following (all pages of the award notice are required). Please do not send original documents as we are unable to return them.

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-based)
  • Child Tax Credit based on an income below £16,190
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Asylum Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ (this is the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

If you do not have an award notice or annual review letter dated within the last three months, please provide your most recent award notice or annual review letter accompanied by a bank, building society or post office account statement dated within the last three months showing that you are still receiving regular payments of the benefit.

We will usually find out the success of an application within ten working days of receiving the application.

Data Protection Act 1998
The Borough of Poole is a data controller for the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998. This act regulates how we obtain and use information about individuals. The information you supply is collected for the purpose of providing free school meals, but may be used for wider purposes. When you sign this document you are consenting to that use. The information may be shared with other service units of the Borough of Poole, education establishments, or other local authorities.