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Free School Meals

The following guidance is provided at the following link on the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Website.

https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/housing-benefit/welfare-reform/free-school-meals-clothing-grants/

If you live in Blaenau Gwent and receive any of the following, you can claim free school meals for your school-aged child:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and your annual income does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by Tax Credits)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (not in work)
  • Universal Credit (in work) where your award is based on annual earnings from your employment or self-employment and have been determined as less than £7,400.

Young people who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

You can learn more about free school meals on the Welsh Assembly website.

You will be notified in writing or by email of the outcome of your application.

If you are eligible for free school meals, your child’s school will be notified so that they can update their records.

Free school meals are awarded for each child separately and not for the household. You will therefore need to complete a new application form if you have another child starting school for the first time.

You do not need to re-apply if your child moves to another school in the borough. When we are advised by your child’s new school that they are a pupil there then we will amend our records and inform them of your eligibility.

Changes from 1st April 2019

 Any pupil eligible for free school meals at the point an earned income threshold is introduced (1st April 2019) will have their eligibility protected. This will apply to all applicants until the end of the rollout of Universal Credit (currently scheduled for December 2023), regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Any pupil who becomes eligible under the amended criteria during the rollout of Universal Credit (from 1st April 2019 to December 2023) will also retain their eligibility until the end of Universal Credit rollout, regardless of whether their circumstances change.

Once the rollout of Universal Credit has completed, any transitionally protected child will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education, e.g. primary / secondary.

 

Free School Meals & Local Authority Education Grant

For 2019/20 Welsh Government are replacing the existing clothing grant scheme with a Local Authority Education Grant.

The purpose of the scheme is to enable assistance to be made to families on low income for the purchase of: 

  • School uniform including coats and shoes
  • School sports kit including footwear
  • Uniform for enrichment activities including but not limited to, scouts, guides, cadets, martial arts, sports, performing arts or dance;
  • Equipment e.g. school bags and stationary
  • Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology; and 
  • Equipment for out of school hours trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs. 
  • IT equipment such as mobile phones and iPads, are excluded from this funding. The funding is available to pupils who are eligible for free school meals or are looked after and: 
  • Reception class of maintained primary schools in September 2019;
  • Year 3 of maintained primary schools in September 2019; 
  • Year 7 of maintained secondary schools in September 2019;
  • Year 10 of maintained secondary schools in September 2019 or
  • Pupils in special needs schools, special needs resource bases and pupil referral units who are aged 4 or aged 11 in September 2019

Funding of up to £125 per eligible learner is available with the exception of those in Year 7.  Eligible learners in year 7 will be entitled to a maximum of £200 

The Benefit Section are currently sending letters and  application forms to those who appear to be eligible, if you receive a form please return to the Benefit Section straight await to avoid missing out on entitlement. 

For further information please contact the Benefits Section using the contact information below. 

Will transitionally protected pupils be eligible to get support for their school uniform through the Pupil Development Grant – Access?

The Welsh Government’s Pupil Development Grant – Access will not be extended to include transitionally protected pupils. The Pupil Development Grant – Access will continue to be aimed at supporting pupils who are eligible for free school meals because of the  benefits or support payments their parents currently receive.

  

For further information please contact the Benefits Section using the contact information below. 

Contact Information

Telephone : 01495 353398

Email: benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Address: Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Name of Team: Housing Benefits