PARENTS and guardians are being asked to apply online in order to receive free school meals for their children.
Those who believe they may be entitled should register - even if they are intending to make alternative arrangements for their youngsters.
This includes all pupils in reception, year one and Year two who are automatically eligible to free school meals from September.
It may also cover families who qualify for Income Support or income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit, Child Tax Credits or Employment and Support Allowance.
The new system allows applications to be amended and immediately notifies schools of eligibility, meaning the child will not be left without a meal on the first day back at school.
Councillor Bob Hicks, chair of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Free school meals fit in well with Warwickshire County Council’s commitment to seeking the best possible outcomes for vulnerable children who need our help and also our commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of everyone in the county. The school meals service recently launched a number of new menus with healthy eating and a balanced diet having much greater focus than ever before.
Publicly funded schools in England receive pupil premiums, this is a sum of money given per child from the government to help more disadvantaged pupils.
Councillor Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for education and learning, said: “Free school meals ensure that no child is left behind in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet at key points in their development. I would like to encourage all parents to register with the new online system to ensure that their children have access to a free school meal and their child’s school have access to vital funds.”
Those who believe they are entitled should apply to the new free school meals system by Tuesday, August 26 to guarantee free school meals in September.
To register or find out more visit warwickshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals
Or contact Craig Pratt, lead officer for Pupil Student Services on 01926 742070.