What’s happening about free school meals?
If your child is entitled to free school meals and you have registered with the school, we are supplying vouchers to cover the cost of 20 days’ worth of lunches from Tuesday 24th March through to Monday 4th May.
You should receive an email from your school with details of the voucher which you can redeem at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, and Waitrose. Please note the voucher can only be redeemed in store.
If you have not received your email voucher via email or you are not registered, please use the live chat facility to make us aware and we will advise accordingly.
I have received an email asking me to provide my bank details. What do I do?
We have been alerted by the DFE that some parents have received an email stating:
'As schools will be closing, if you're entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we'll make sure you're supported'.
This is a scam email - do not respond and delete immediately.
Am I eligible for free school meals?
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- 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
- 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)
- 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 (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- Younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- In full-time education
- If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.
How do I register for free school meals?
Each local authority has their own process for managing free school meal applications. All schools within the White Horse Federation fall in one of the following five local authorities. Below are the links that will take you to the appropriate web pages where you can read further information and if required start your free school meals application.
Swindon: Free School Meals Information
Wiltshire: Free School Meals Information
Oxfordshire: Free School Meals Information
Reading: Free School Meals Information
Gloucestershire: Free School Meals Information
What happens if my child claims universal infant free school meals?
Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) is different to free school meals. UIFSM is available to all children in reception class, year 1, and year 2 in a government-funded school without the need for registering with the local authority. We have not received funding to issue vouchers to children who receive UIFSM. We have only received the funding to issue vouchers to children who are registered with the local authority for free school meals.
If you are eligible for free school meals you should register even though you’re receiving UIFSM because your child will receive additional financial support including vouchers. For more information on how to register see our FAQ ‘How do I register for free school meals’.
I have not received a voucher?
There could be a number of reasons that you have not received a free school meal voucher.
- You need to be registered with the local authority. For more information on how to register see our FAQ ‘How do I register for free school meals’.
- The email address on record at the school needs to be up to date. The COVID-19 restrictions means we’re issuing vouchers electronically via email. If the email address we have on record is different to the one you use, then you may not be receiving the communication we sent.
If you’re satisfied that both of these points above are completed, and you’re still experiencing an issue then please get back in touch and we’ll escalate this as necessary.
How do I use the voucher?
You should receive an email from your school with details of the voucher which you can redeem at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Waitrose.
Please note the voucher can only be redeemed in store.
What should I do if there’s an issue with my voucher?
Vouchers are provided by Sodex and distributed by the schools to email addresses they have on record. If you have received your voucher and are having issues with spending it instore at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Waitrose then please contact Sodexo directly at firstname.lastname@example.org