Free School Meals

We encourage all eligible families to apply for free school meals (FSM).  As well as the reassurance that an eligible student is receiving a healthy, nutritious meal every school day, FSM eligibility can also open up other avenues of financial support, including waiving of musical instrument tuition fees and consideration for grants under the 16-19 Bursary Scheme.

Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for FSM is set by the Government:-

If you are in receipt of one of the following support payments you are entitled to receive a Free School Meal for your Child:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance Income Related (ESA-IR)
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax credit (CTC), providing you do not also receive Working Tax Credit and have an annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £16,190.
  • 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)
  • Working tax credit run-on- paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit

If you are in receipt of any amount of Working Tax Credit this automatically disqualifies entitlement to Free School Meals.
No other benefits or allowances qualify parents/carers to receive Free School Meals for children.

Eligibility has to be verified and at The Blue we use Somerset County Council to do this on our behalf.  You do not have to provide proof of receipt of benefits.  SCC will run a check on receipt of your application and confirm to you and us at The Blue if you are eligible or not within 5-10 working days.  As soon as you have been advised that you are eligible and that your application has been approved, please could you contact Mrs Mouelhi to ensure that there is no delay in setting your child up to receive FSM.

What is a Free School Meal and when can my child have it?

A free school meal can be flexible based on the plated hot or cold meal menu (main meal plus pudding) being served that day.  Alternatively it can be based around a sandwich/baguette or other snack bought from any servery point and can be eaten at morning break or lunchtime.  Bottled or canned drinks are not included, but free drinking water is available throughout the day to all students.

How is the FSM allowance given to my child?

All students at The Blue have their own personal catering account.  For those in receipt of FSM the allowance at £2.55 per day is automatically credited to their account.   If this amount is not used by the end of the school day then the balance will roll over to the next day. At the end of each month this balance is reset to £0.  Parents/carers or students can top-up their catering account via Tucasi Online Payments or by using the Cash Payment Stations located in Kennion Vestibule or Milton Galleries.  FSM eligible students have the same experience at the tills as all other students, using their thumb or pin number to purchase their items at the till.

How do I apply?

If you believe you may be eligible and would like to apply for a free school meal for your child please download and complete the application form.  Alternatively, contact Mrs Mouelhi in our Finance Office on 01749 836262 who will be happy to help you and/or post a paper copy of the application form to you.

Completed application forms can either be returned to Mrs Mouelhi at The Finance Office, The Blue School, Kennion Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 2NR or alternatively be sent direct to the Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY (email to freeschoolmeals@somerset.gov.uk).