During the current period of partial school closure due to Covid-19, schools are arranging support for children registered for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) during term-time.
Please contact your child/ren’s school for more information about the help available at this time.
If you urgently need help with the costs of buying food for your children, please call the Stay Safe Be Kind helpline on 01902 290241.
City of Wolverhampton Council does not provide uniform grants. Please speak to your child’s school for information about the support that may be available to you.
Please do not apply for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) if your child is not yet in full-time education.
If your child already has a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim in place, please do not re-apply.
Who is eligible?
These are the Government’s eligibility criteria for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM):
- 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, equivalent to £616.67 a month (after tax and not including any benefits you get) to qualify for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM)
If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit (apart from during the four-week run-on period), you will not qualify for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM), regardless of your income. If you are receiving Child Tax Credit only, your annual income must be less than £16,190 to qualify.
Apply for free school meals
If your child already has a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim in place, you do not need to re-apply.
If you meet the Government’s eligibility criteria and your child doesn’t already have a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim in place, we would encourage you to apply directly through your child's school or college.
You will need to supply your full name, date of birth and National Insurance or National Asylum Support Service (NASS) reference number.
Your child's school may already have requested this information from you when you registered your child's place. Your details are shared with us to check your eligibility using a secure Government website. Your child's school will confirm whether or not you will need to pay for school meals.
If you are unable to supply this information to your child's school, you can apply online using our Free School Meals Eligibility Checker, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Free School Meals enquiry line on 01902 554128.
If your child attends St Peter’s Collegiate school, Northwood Park Primary or Villiers Primary or another school outside Wolverhampton, you will need to apply direct to the school (or their Local Authority), unless they are named below:
- All Saints’ CE Primary, Trysull
- Bird’s Bush Primary, Tamworth
- Coleridge Primary, Rotherham
- East Dene Primary, Rotherham
- Eastwood Village Primary, Rotherham
- St Benedict Biscop CE Primary, Wombourne
- Stanley Road Primary, Worcester
What happens next?
If you are found eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM), your child's school will confirm the arrangements for your child to receive their meals. If you are not found eligible, your child's school will confirm how much and when you will need to pay for your child's meals.
For every child that is registered for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM), schools receive valuable "Pupil Premium" funding from the Government. Therefore, even if your child chooses not to eat school meals, we would still encourage you to register.
If you have children in junior or secondary school and/or would like to receive additional benefits that may be available at your child's school (e.g. free milk), you must register for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM).
If your child has a benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM) claim valid between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2023, they will remain eligible for free school meals until the end of the phase of education (e.g. primary or secondary) they are in as at March 2023, even if you have a change in circumstance (apart from claimants who receive National Asylum Support or Pension Credit).
If you no longer receive NASS or Pension Credit, you should notify your child’s school or the FSM Eligibility Checking Service direct and your eligibility will be rechecked. Transitional Protection does not apply to siblings who don’t have a claim registered in their own name.
Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)
Since September 2014, all children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 have been able to enjoy school meals for free, regardless of their parents’ financial circumstances. You do not need to register to receive these meals, but your child's school may ask if your child will be taking meals so that they can make the necessary arrangements. UIFSM are not the same as benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM).
Arrangements and school meal providers vary across the City. Your child’s school will be able to provide more detail about their menus, prices, payment arrangements, special dietary requirements and answers to any other questions you may have.
Information about the menus provided by the Council’s Catering Services team is available here.
For more information about free school meals please:
Telephone: 01902 554128
Service Development Team Leader
City of Wolverhampton Council
Hickman Avenue Building
Chillington Fields Industrial Estate
Off Hickman Avenue