St James

Free School Meals

Free School Meals (FSM) – Parents must meet the criteria detailed below and complete an application form. If you are eligible to claim, we encourage you to do so as each valid claim attracts additional funding to the school

Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) – All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be eligible for a hot school meal free of charge from September 2014, no application and no additional funding to school.

Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) – From September 2014, all children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 will be eligible for a Universal Free School Meal. No application is needed but no additional funding to your child’s school, as per the Pupil Premium. We respectfully encourage parents of children who receive UFSM to still apply for FSM (if the above criteria is met) as this will ensure school receives essential funding.

The provision of Universal Free School Meals aims to play a key role in promoting and supporting healthy eating and lifestyles. It will enable children to try a wider range of foods, as well as give them the fuel they need for an afternoon of focused and high quality learning.

Free School Meals (FSM) – parents can download a free school meal application from Rochdale Council website Free school Meal application or alternatively collect a form from the school office.

For every pupil registered with the council as eligible under the entitlement criteria below, the school will receive additional funding in the school budget called Pupil Premium (£1,300 per child) which is used to help raise achievement levels. This also includes enabling access to facilities, clubs, and subsidising trips and residential trips. If you do not claim for Free School Meals, then the Pupil Premium funding will not be available for your child (e.g. subsidising the above).

Please use the Online Free school Meal Checker to see if you are eligible. You will get an immediate response as to whether you are eligible or not.


This is a completely confidential system.


Families who are eligible for FSM include those on;
• Income Support.
• Income Based Job Seekers Allowance.
• Income Related Employment and Support Allowance.
• The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit (from 30th April 2005).
• Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
• 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 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
• Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Additional requirements
• You, as the parent or guardian, must receive Child Benefit for the child you are responsible for.
• Children who receive IS or IBJSA in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
• Children attending Rochdale council maintained nurseries, providing they receive education before and after lunch, and whose family receives a qualifying benefit, are entitled to receive free school meals.

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