Free School Meals

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Do I need to re-apply each academic year for free school meals?

Answer: A review on all current claims is carried out in the summer holidays (July/August) each year. The entitlement to free school meals will continue onto the next academic year unless the claimant receives a letter from us in the summer holidays, requesting further evidence to support their claim.
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Question: Are Free School Meals Cards provided by the Isle of Wight Council?

Answer: Free School Meal cards are no longer issued by School Admissions, although some schools may issue these themselves.



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Question: Do I need to re-apply for free school meals if my child moves from primary to secondary or secondary to 6th form in the new academic year?

Answer: If a child is transferring in September to another school/site (i.e. Primary to Secondary School or Medina College to Island Innovation VI College) then they will continue to receive free school meals unless the claimant receives a letter from us in the summer holidays, requesting further evidence to support their claim.
New starters at the Isle of Wight College 6th Form will be able to apply for a 14 - 19 Bursary (forms available from the College), as the IW College do not use the free school meals system. - Related Link

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Question: Does my child qualify for Free School Meals?

Answer: You are not eligible for Free School Meals if you receive Working Tax Credit or Disability Living Allowance. However, you will be eligible for Free School Meals if you are in receipt of one of the following:-

Income Support
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
The Guaranteed Element of State 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 - where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the 4-week period immediately after employment ends, OR after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, they will be eligible to claim free school meals for that 4-week period.
Universal Credit

Any evidence provided will need to be dated within the last three months.

Income received is based on the current tax year in which you are applying. - Related Link

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Question: How do I apply for Free School Meals?

Answer: * You can collect a form from your child's school.
* From School Admissions by phoning 01983 823455
* Apply on line via the Do It Online tab above
* Via the Customer Services Centre
* You can download a form from the Isle of Wight Council website.
Please return the completed form to School Admissions, County Hall, Newport with the relevant evidence dated within the last three months. - Related Link

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Question: How long will the Free School Meals entitlement last?

Answer: The Free School Meals entitlement will last as long as your eligibility can be confirmed. A review is carried out every half term and if you come back as uneligible we will write to you to request evidence of your qualifying benefit and do a further check with the Department for Work and Pensions. - Related Link

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Question: How quickly can my child receive a free school meal if I qualify?

Answer: Once your completed form has been assessed and if your child qualifies for a free school meal, they can start the following day. We will contact the school direct and inform them of your child's eligibility, the school will inform you when they have been contacted. - Related Link

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Question: How will I know whether my application for free school meals for my child was successful?

Answer: You will be contacted by your child's school, who will confirm this with you and the process to enable your child to access their free school meal.

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Question: What if my application for free school meals is not successful?

Answer: We use an online checking system which connects with the Department of Work and Pensions which tells us whether you are eligible or not. It does not provide us with any information, so if it does come back that you are not eligible we will write to you to request evidence of your qualifying benefit and do a further check with the Department for Work and Pensions direct.

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Question: How do you check my eligibility?

Answer: If you are in receipt of one of the eligible benefits we use an online checking system which connects with the Department of Work and Pensions which tells us whether you are eligible or not. It does not provide us with any information, so if it does come back that you are not eligible we will write to you to request evidence of your qualifying benefit and do a further check with the Department for Work and Pensions direct. - Related Link

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