Dear Parents and Carers,
Pupil Premium funding is money that the government gives to schools for every pupil who is or who has been in care, who has some time in the previous six years been eligible for Free School Meals, or whose parents are serving in the Armed Forces.
Children Who Have Been In Care Or Who Are In Care
Schools receive £1,900 for each pupil who has been looked after for 1 day or more, or was adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005, or who left care under a special guardianship order or residence order.
Parents Who Are Serving In The Armed Forces
The amount the school receives for such children is at a much reduced rate (approximately £300) than for children who qualify as they are or were in care, or who are or were in receipt of free school meals, but it is still money that is available to help your son or daughter’s education and we would urge you to apply for this.
Children Who Are Or Who Were In Receipt Of Free School Meals
If you are successful in your application, the school would receive over £900 per annum, per eligible pupil, to support your son or daughter. You do not need to take up the meals if you or your child would prefer not to have a free school meal, but now that the school uses a cashless catering system there is no barrier to why this should be the case.
Examples of how the money has been used at Manwood’s include: paying towards the costs of the school uniform, contributing towards the employment costs of the school counsellor, other pastoral staff, teaching assistants, and specialised teacher so that as a school we are able to provide a greater level of support to your son or daughter than we would otherwise be able to, and paying towards the cost of a curriculum-related school trip or activity that their child would otherwise not be able to go on.
The eligibility criteria for free school meals changed on 1 April 2018, with interim arrangements in place whilst the new Universal Credit system is implemented. The information below explains the changes and how they might affect you.
Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below.
- Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- I am currently claiming free school meals – what does this mean for me?
- Most people won’t be affected by the new criteria. If you’re currently claiming free school meals, but don’t meet the new criteria, your child will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the Universal Credit rollout period. This will apply even if your earnings rise above the new threshold or if you stop being entitled to Universal Credit. The rollout period is currently scheduled to end in March 2022.
- Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, your child will keep their free school meal until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.
I don’t currently claim free school meals – what does this mean for me?
If you think you might be eligible for free school meals please submit a claim online to the local authority via this link: www.kent.gov.uk/free-school-meals
The information you provide will be used to check if you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and, if you are on Universal Credit, that your earnings do not exceed the threshold. If you claim Universal Credit, your earnings will be assessed from up to three of your last Universal Credit assessment periods.
If you are eligible, the school will be notified. Your child will then receive free school meals and the school will receive extra funding specifically for them.
Where can I get more information?
If you need any further information, please speak to a member of school staff or the local authority. You can also visit the free school meal website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
If you think you might be eligible, I urge you to apply as this extra source of revenue will be spent directly on those students for whom it is intended.
If you require any further information or support in the application process please write to me in confidence.