Free School Meals and the Pupil Premium
Currently, pupils in Years 1 and 2 as well as Reception children all receive free school meals, these are paid by government funding. This provision is called Universal Infant Free School Meals or UIFSM.
In addition to this funding, parents in low income families or those that are unemployed can also apply for Pupil Premium funding so that their children can receive free school meals in subsequent school years (Year 3 and onwards). Pupil Premium funding can also give children access to some discounted educational trips and events throughout their school years.
The ‘Free School Meals / Pupil Premium Service’ http://www.fsm.lgfl.net is a web site where parents can quickly and easily check eligibility for free school meals and, if eligible, also gain welcome additional funding for their child’s school, known as ‘Pupil Premium’. If eligible, you are not obliged to accept the free school meals for your child if you wish to make other arrangements, but we do want to encourage applications as the additional funding gained would still benefit education provision at the school.
What the service does for parents:
After entering essential details into the web site, the online application process links to the Department for Education system for checking eligibility and gives an immediate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response, and will notify the school.
This system is being provided to encourage parents to apply and take advantage of free school meals while at the same time increasing the benefit to schools from Pupil Premium funding, a substantial amount of which does not reach schools because not all parents who are eligible apply for free meals for their child.
By way of a ‘thank you’ to parents for taking part, and regardless of individual outcomes, The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) would like to provide parents of children attending LGfL-connected schools with Sophos Anti-Virus software, free of charge, to protect the computers used by pupils at home.
To gain access to this software there is a short registration process which will also give you access, if required, to other LGfL services and benefits that are available to your child’s school. Please be assured there is no catch, no cost and no advertising. LGfL (a UK education charity set up in 2001 and owned by London’s 33 local authorities) exists to support education and is leading this initiative to make it easier for parents to apply for free school meals and to encourage the drawdown of unclaimed Pupil Premium.
What the service does for schools:
As the government has now introduced free school meals for all children in Key Stage 1, it is more important than ever for schools to know the number of pupils for whom they can claim Pupil Premium funding. These funds enable schools to take on additional staff and invest in additional equipment, resources and activities to the benefit all children.
Please visit http://www.fsm.lgfl.net enter the necessary details and support this worthwhile initiative.