- Free school meals - Save your household up to £418 a year per child
- Pupil premium – Get £1300 for your child’s school to improve education
- Early years pupil premium (EYPP) – over £300 for your child’s early years and childcare provider to improve provision
Can my child get free school meals, pupil premium or EYPP?
You should claim your Free School meals from the local authority where you live and not from the local authority that the school is based.
Nursery - pre-school
If your child is aged 2, 3 or 4 years old and is attending a maintained nursery class or nursery school all day and you or your partner are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits your child could be eligible for free school meals.
Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for 3 and 4 year olds whose parents are in receipt of qualifying benefits or for children who are looked after or have previously been looked after children.
Infants - Reception, Years 1 and 2
All children get free school meals if they are in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
If you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits you can apply for pupil premium to get extra money for your child’s school.
Older Children - Year 3 to Year 11
Your child is eligible for free school meals if you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits.
When making your application you are also applying for the pupil premium for your child’s school.
Students in Further Education
If your child is aged between 16 and 18 and is attending a further education funded institution you will be entitled to claim free meals if you or your partner receive one of the qualifying benefits.
Students who turn 19 during their studies will remain eligible for a free meal until the end of the academic year in which they turn 19 or to the end of their study programme, whichever is sooner.
There is no pupil premium for further education.
What are the qualifying benefits?
You will be entitled to apply for free school meals and/or pupil premium for your child if you or your partner receive one or more of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit (see information on new eligibility criteria below)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
- Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit (providing you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by the Inland Revenue)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Apply for free school meals, pupil premium and EYPP
When you apply you will get an instant decision on your claim. We will contact the school to confirm your child’s eligibility.
If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and you or your partner are in receipt of qualifying benefits you should still complete the application for pupil premium online because your child’s school will receive an extra £1300 per year.
New eligibility criteria - Universal Credit
From 1st April 2018, the Department for Education made amendments to the eligibility criteria for free school meals to reflect the roll out of Universal Credit full service.
From this date onwards your child will only be eligible for free schools meals under Universal Credit if you and your partner have net earned income of less than £7,400 per year (assessed from up to three of your most recent assessment periods).
The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to be completed by March 2025.
However in the meantime, transitional protections will be implemented for those children who might otherwise lose free school meals following the update to the eligibility criteria.
The transitional protections will be awarded as follows:
- Any child who is in receipt of free school meals BEFORE 1 April 2018, will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out (until March 2025) regardless of any changes in you or your partners income
- Any child who gains eligibility for free school meals AFTER 1 April 2018 will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out (until March 2025) regardless of any changes in you or your partners income
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out any existing children who no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education, ie primary or secondary.
What is the pupil premium?
The pupil premium is extra funding for your child’s education. It is provided by the government and is normally claimed as part of free school meals if you or your partner are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits.
Your child’s school will receive £1300 per pupil for six years to support your child’s education including help with the cost of school trips, teaching assistant staff and after school programs (see individual schools websites).
What happens if my circumstances change?
You must tell us straight away if you move out of Wigan Borough even if your child remains at the same school.