Free school meals application management service

The free school meals application service is only available to local authorities and it allows individual parent records and batches of records to be checked on-line in real time rather than seek paper evidence from parents/carers. The team can offer a comprehensive service.

The free school meals and education transport team will provide a comprehensive service in respect of assessing pupil eligibility for free school meals and undertake ongoing reviews to assess continued entitlement.

Core services

The following would be included in the free school meals service offer from the free school meals and education transport team:

  • the handling of all customer contact relating to the application, assessment and review of free school meals 
  • provision of up to date information, advice and guidance, including leaflets and online information, regarding eligibility for free school meals. Changes in legislation to be notified to schools by email and information to be provided to parents through, the Family Information Service point in the Dolphin Centre and, where there are changes in eligibility, by written contact with parents/carers affected
  • the design and provision of application forms for free school meals which will be made available to parents in a variety of formats: as paper forms available in schools and the Family Information Service point in the Dolphin Centre; (and from academy websites if required) and as an online application service
  • the assessment of new applications submitted for entitlement to free school meals using the Eligibility Checking Service (ECS), where it is not possible to confirm eligibility through ECS to obtain paper evidence from the parent/carer
  • there will be no need for parents/carers to reapply each year where ongoing eligibility can be confirmed through ECS
  • informing applicants and schools of the result of successful applications
  • details of eligible pupils to be stored in the council’s Tribal database
  • the provision of entitlement lists sent to the academy, via encrypted email (Ironport), on a half-termly basis. Where pupils become eligible or ineligible between these half-termly reports changes to be notified by encrypted email as they occur

For more information contact the free school meals and education transport team by email or phone 01202 817900. 

Page last updated: 06 April 2021
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