COVID-19 - Free School Meals
A national voucher scheme has been introduced by the Government that will allow children eligible for free school meals to still access that provision while they stay at home.
We are following the government guidelines on the provision of FSMs and working with our schools to ensure that pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals continue to receive support. For those children not attending school, schools can offer either supermarket vouchers up to the value of £15 / week to parents so they can purchase food, or food hampers, which must be collected from the school.
Schools will be making their own arrangements for eligible children, please contact your child’s school to know which option your school has chosen.
The Government has introduced a Summer Food scheme which will provide food vouchers over the six-week holiday period to families whose children are eligible under the national free school meals programme.
Food vouchers worth £90 per child will be ordered by schools and are available as physical gift cards and as eGift cards.
Vouchers can be spent at a local supermarket – parents and carers can select the supermarket from a range of options.
To benefit from the Summer Food Scheme, if your circumstances have recently changed and you believe you may now be eligible for benefits-related free school meals (see eligibility criteria below) then please apply using the Citizen’s Portal by 12 July 2020
There may be families who are not entitled to free school meals but will require support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are Islington will be able to offer support. For more information, visit our Need help under our coronavirus area.
Nursery and primary school
Your child is entitled to free school meals if they are attending:
- a children’s centre in an Islington primary school
- North Islington, Margaret McMillan or Kate Greenaway nurseries
- a primary school in Islington from the age of three, full time.
You must register to receive this service using the Citizens Portal below.
Free school meals are available to some secondary school pupils. Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you get any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income–based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit if your taxable income is less than £16,190 and you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- support under Section VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 and your household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax and before benefits
Children who get paid these benefits directly, and not through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school, and
- in full-time education
You must apply for this service using the citizens portal:
If your child is an Islington resident and is eligible for free school meals, they're eligible for the uniform grant as well. We'll pay £150 to help meet the cost of school uniforms when your child transfers to secondary school from year 6. To apply, complete the school uniform application form below.
Using the Citizens Portal
Download our Citizens Portal User Journey Guide from ‘useful documents’ for step-by-step instructions for using the Citizens Portal to register or apply for free school meals. You must have a working email address to use the Citizens Portal.
If you are unable to register with the Citizens portal, please complete the relevant application form available in ‘useful documents’.
For more information, please email the Free School Meals team.