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Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals

New Arrangements For Free School Meals During School Closure

If your child will be attending a Solihull school in September and you think you may be eligible for free school meals but you have not yet applied, you need to do so ASAP so that we can process your application and notify the school of your entitlement in time for the new school term.

If you were already receiving free school meals at a Solihull school prior to the summer holidays you do not need to reapply as your free school meal will continue automatically in September, this includes if you are moving from a Solihull Infant School to a Solihull Junior School or from a Solihull Primary School to a Solihull Secondary School.

If you are moving from an out of borough school to start at a Solihull school in September 2020 and were on free school meals you will need to apply to Solihull for free school meals so that we can ensure your meals are transferred over to your new school ready for September.

For more information on the national free school meals voucher scheme and Covid summer food fund please view the following documents: Edenred parent FAQs and Edenred Parent User Guide for FSM vouchers.

If your financial circumstances have changed and you think you may now be eligible for a free school meal you can apply online and if eligible you will be able to have free school meals from September 2020 when the Autumn term starts. You can no longer apply and receive a Covid Summer Food Voucher as the closing date for this has now passed. All applications now being processed are for meals for September 2020.

Please note we are experiencing a high volume of applications at present and we will process applications in the order that they were received. Please allow five working days for a response.

For more information please visit GOV.UK.

To apply for Free School Meals select the following button.

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 you must receive at least one of the following benefits:

Qualifying Benefits:

Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • 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 guarantee 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 four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

In addition, the following pupils will be protected against losing their free school meals as follows:

  • From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time
  • In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period
  • Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary)

The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2023.

What if I don’t receive one of the above benefits?

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

These groups are:

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

These groups are also subject to a maximum household earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum.

We are also temporarily extending eligibility to:

  • children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

This group is not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.

To make an application based upon these criteria please call the Family Information Service directly on 0121 704 6611.

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.

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 a Solihull school reception class this September you can apply/register for Universal Infant Free School Meals using our online application once you have confirmed your place; there is no need to wait until September.

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?

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

How can I ensure that my child is provided with a healthy meal?

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

I receive Universal Credit but I also receive other benefits as well, will I be eligible for a Free School Meal?

My child is currently getting a Free School Meal but my circumstances have changed, will my child lose their meal?

2 of my children currently get a free meal but I will be applying for my youngest child who starts school in September 2018 and my circumstances have changed, will my youngest child be eligible?

I am moving from another area to Solihull and my children currently have Free School Meals and are protected, do I have to reapply in Solihull?

Yes if your children are moving to a Solihull school you will need to make a new application for a Free School Meal via the parent portal.

If your circumstances have changed and you therefore receive a refused response to your application you will need to notify the Family Information Service that your children were previously protected out of borough. We can then verify this with your new school and ensure your children receive a Free School Meal and that their eligibility then becomes protected again.

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.

Due to the roll out of Universal Credit, when the four week `run-on’ finishes your free meals will now continue until at least March 2023 as your entitlement will be protected even if your circumstances change

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 Family Information Service (Please note when we are experiencing high volumes of applications and especially in September, all claims will be dealt with in the order they are received. 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, the Family Information Service will be happy to help you with any queries you may have regarding your claim.


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