Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals

What do I need to do to get free school meals for my child?

Click on the button to make an online application.

Online application

This will link you to our Parent Portal where you can apply for Free School Meals or register for Universal Infant Free School Meals.

Free School Meals (FSM)

To qualify for free school meals under this scheme you must receive at least one of the following benefits:

Qualifying Benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance -income-based (JSA)
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • If you receive both income-based and contribution-based JSA/ESA you should still qualify if the amounts you receive are the same or if income-based part is higher. If however, contribution-based part is higher you will not qualify
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an income that does not exceed £16,190
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit (Evidence of this benefit will be required)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit (Please note this is a temporary qualification and we will need to be able to verify this entitlement)

What happens if my circumstances change?

Report a change of circumstances

Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM)

All infant pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 will be eligible for free school meals as part of the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals programme.

You do not need to be receiving any benefits to qualify for Universal Infant Free School Meals, but you do have to register as without a request UIFSM cannot be provided.

From your application we can identify if your child’s school will qualify for extra funding which can be spent on various activities including extra tuition, sports and music at your child’s school.

Please note if your child will be starting school in reception class this September you can apply/register for Universal Infant Free School Meals using our online application now there is no need to wait until September. Once you have confirmed your place at a Solihull School you can register for your child’s Universal Infant Meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

My application has been unsuccessful but my child attends infant school and is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2?

As your child is an infant pupil they will still qualify for Universal Infant Free School Meals because you have registered.

Your completed online registration will assist the school in identifying extra funding via Pupil Premium which will benefit the school. We will also re-check your details periodically in case your claim for free meals becomes successful at a later date.

I live outside the Borough but my child attends a Solihull School. How do I apply for free school meals or register for Universal Infant Free School Meals?

As your child attends a school in Solihull, you should apply to Solihull MBC for free meals even though you do not reside within the Solihull Borough.

My Child Attends Nursery School. Can I apply for Free School Meals?

If your child is receiving education either side of the lunch period you can claim free school meals when your child attends for a full day (this does not apply to Wraparound Nursery).

It must be a school nursery as free meals are not available at private nurseries. Universal Infant Free Meals do not begin until your child reaches Infant School (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2).

How can I ensure that my child is provided with a Healthy Meal?

Menus and information about Solihull’s freshly prepared meals are available on our school meals page www.solihull.gov.uk/schoolmeals . Information will also be available at your child’s school.

Will I be required to provide proof of benefits when I make a claim?

When you make a claim online you will not be asked for proof of benefits. Your entitlement will be checked against our Eligibility Checking Service which is provided by the Department for Education. If for any reason you are receiving a qualifying benefit but this cannot be confirmed we may in a few cases have to ask for current paper proof of entitlement.

I receive Working Tax Credit but my income is below £16,190 can I still claim FSM?

If there is any Working Tax being received in your home, regardless of income unfortunately you are not entitled to claim free school meals.

Is it true that I can claim FSM if I lose my job, even though I receive Working Tax Credit?

If you are receiving Working Tax Credit during a 4 week `run-on’ period after your employment has ceased you can claim free school meals. During the 4 week `run-on’ period it is anticipated that you will either rapidly reclaim another qualifying benefit or find new employment.

This temporary entitlement lasts for the 4 week `run-on’ period only. You will have to provide paper proof of the date your employment ceased as we are unable to verify the `run-on’ period by using our Eligibility checking Service. When the four week `run-on’ finishes your free meals will cease unless you have in the meantime transferred onto a qualifying benefit.

How will I be advised of the outcome of my online application?

When your application has been processed you will be sent an email to advise you of the outcome. The school will also be advised of the result.

If you do not receive an email within 5 working days, please contact the Free School Meals Team (Please note when we are experiencing high volumes of applications and especially in September all claims will be dealt with in date order of claim. It is advisable to claim early to avoid a delay. You are able to claim during school holiday periods.)

Please remember to check your junk / spam email folder just in case the email has been redirected incorrectly.

Do I have the opportunity to appeal if my online application is unsuccessful?

Yes. Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council Free School Meals team will be happy to help you with any queries you may have regarding your claim.

See Also...

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