Published: 14 September 2021
The new system means that eligible parents and carers can apply via an online portal and receive an outcome within minutes of submitting. It also means that schools will receive details of eligible applications daily.
Nutritious and healthy meals are essential to children’s health and wellbeing.
All children in the UK in reception, year 1 and 2 are entitled to free school meals regardless of household income and from year 3 onwards, children can continue to access this provision if their parent or carer receives certain benefits.
For each child that is eligible for free school meals, the relevant school receives additional government funding and this year, children can also access a free programme of holiday activities and food outside of term time.
It is hoped that the improved system will drive more free school meal applications amongst eligible families in Westminster and make more parents and carers aware of the additional support available when applying.
Cllr Timothy Barnes, Cabinet Member for Young People and Learning said:
We are committed to supporting families across the borough to access healthy and nutritious food. Free school meals are vital to ensuring all children can have the best start in life and our new online system ensures all eligible families can benefit from food provision quickly and easily.
Please note that the council will continue to process paper applications from eligible families within the current timescale of 15 days which will continue to be confirmed to the school each Friday.