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School Meals

School meals are provided in our School Kitchen under a contract with Chartwells Catering. The Menu is revised termly (see link to side) and there are vegitarian / jacket potato options available every day. Freshly baked baguettes are also available to order on a daily basis with a variety of fillings (Ham / Cheese / Tuna).
The cost is £ 2.10 per meal and payment can be made in cash or by cheque (made payable to "Compass Services Ltd") on a daily or weekly basis. Payments should be put in the school kitchen postbox by the main entrance gates. Children's purses are returned to them in the classroom daily.
Payment can also be made in advance online via ParentPay.   Please ask at the School Office for details.
The Parent Pay log in page is here https://www.parentpay.com/
If your child requires a special diet, please contact the School Office to obtain a form so that special provision can be made.

Free school meals

Who is entitled?

From September 2014 all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in state-funded schools will be eligible for free schools meals.   However, if you meet the criteria for free school meals for older children (see below), please still apply to register, as the School will benefit from very significant additional funding - Free School Meal Funding and Pupil Premium.   Don't let your child miss out! 

Further information can be found on the following link:

Universal Infant Free School Meals

For other children in Year 3 or above, free school meals can be provided to parents or carers if they are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • During the initial roll out of the benefit, Universal Credit

Anyone entitled to Working Tax Credit is not entitled to free meals regardless of income.

Children will continue to receive free school meals if they meet the existing eligibility criteria and are in receipt of full-time education or education both before and after the lunch period.

How do I apply?

You can apply online for free school meals by clicking on the following link:

Online application for free school meals

Alternatively a paper application form can be requested by contacting the Admissions and Transport team:

0300 330 9472

Opening hours Free School Meals enquiries
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm.
Friday 8.30 am to 4.30pm.

or via your child's school. Our Electronic Checking Service may be able to confirm entitlement but if not, you may need to show up-to-date proof that you meet the qualifying criteria.

What is acceptable proof of entitlement for free school meals?

Free school meals cannot be authorised without proof of entitlement.

The quickest way for you to confirm whether a pupil at your school is entitled to free school meals is by using the Electronic Checking Service (ECS). You can do this by contacting the Free Schools Meals Team by phone or by email.

If the ECS cannot confirm that the pupil is entitled to free school meals, the following type of proof is acceptable.

Income Support

  • We will need to see a letter from Jobcentre Plus, dated within the last 8 weeks stating that the person is currently in receipt of Income Support.
  • The letter is normally 2 - 4 pages long and we need to see all pages.

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • There are 2 different types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-based and contribution based. Only those receiving an amount of income-based JSA are eligible for free school meals. 
  • The evidence we need to check is a 4 page letter from Jobcentre Plus, dated within the last 8 weeks. On page 4 of the letter, it will state 'This is what we call income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance' or 'This is what we call contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance’. Remember, only those on income-based JSA are entitled to free meals. If they do not provide all 4 pages of the letter then we cannot authorise free school meals.

Please note, the Jobseeker’s Attendance Card cannot be used as proof because it does not specify that the JSA is income-based. Contribution-based JSA is not a qualifying free school meals benefit.

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • As with Jobseeker’s Allowance there are 2 different types of Employment and Support Allowance, income-related and contributory related.  Only those receiving an amount of income-related ESA are eligible for free school meals.
  • As with JSA a four page letter from Jobcentre Plus dated within the last 8 weeks is required.  We need to see all pages of the letter in order to ensure they are receiving the income-related amount.

Child Tax Credit

  • All pages of the most recent Tax Credit award notice (TC602) from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, relating to the current financial year (i.e. we are currently 2014 – 2015) will be required. The Tax Credit Award notice is usually 6-8 pages long.
  • You will need to check that they receive Child Tax Credit (usually on page 1 and 4), their income is below the £16,190 threshold (usually on page 3) and that there is no ongoing entitlement to Working Tax Credit (usually on page 4).
  • If two people are on the same Tax Credit Award (joint claim) then income levels and tax credit elements will be applicable to both claimants, including Working Tax Credit.
  • Anyone who receives over £16,190 as assessed for the most recent financial year on their Award does not qualify for free school meals.
  • Anyone entitled to Working Tax Credit does not qualify for free school meals, regardless of their income.

If the applicant has mislaid their Tax Credit award or wishes to update any of their details with HMRC they can phone the Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • We will need to see a recent letter from the UK Borders Agency confirming the claimant is entitled to support. The claimant will not have an NI number as they will not be registered with one as of yet. Instead they will have a 9 digit NASS (National Asylum Seeker’s Service) number. 
  • We will need the NASS number, date of birth and surname of claimant in order to carry out an eligibility check.

Asylum seekers do not normally have a National Insurance number until their asylum application has been processed. Once they have a National Insurance number, their application will need to be re-assessed.

Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

  • We will need to see a letter from Department of Work and Pensions (usually 4-6 pages long) dated within the last 3 months stating that the claimant is in receipt of the Guarantee element. 

Pension Credit payment books cannot be accepted as proof of eligibility because they do not specify the type of Pension Credit the person is receiving.

Forms stamped by the Pension Service cannot be accepted as proof of eligibility because they do not specify that the person receives the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit.

Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

  • If a person who was entitled to Working Tax Credit has recently become unemployed then they will continue to receive the Working Tax for 4 weeks after their employment has ceased.
  • In this instance they will be entitled to free school meals for a 4 week period. Paper proof can be provided by supplying their latest Tax Credit award notice (TC602) and a letter from their most recent employer stating that their employment has terminated and what date it was terminated on.

The local authority where your child attends school is responsible for the provision of free school meals. So, if your child attends an East Sussex school you should apply to us (or to the school direct) but if your child goes to school outside the county, you will need to speak to the school to find out who will deal with your application.

Reviewing your application

Once entitlement is established, free school meals are continuous unless we are notified of a change in your circumstances. If this happens we will contact you for up-to-date proof of entitlement. It is your responsibility to let us know of any changes that may affect your entitlement to free school meals.

If you do not tell us of a change and your child continues to receive free meals when not entitled, you may build up a debt which will have to be repaid.

Any child entitled to Free School Meals attracts additional funding to the School Budget which can provide additional resources to support their learning.
Chartwells team work in partnership with East Sussex County Council to continually improve the service they offer and to address any queries or comments you may have about school meals in East Sussex. For more information or to share feedback with them please contact Chartwells on 01435 865310 or visit our website: www.chartwells.co.uk
Information is also available on East Sussex County Council’s website: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/schoolmeals or Chartwells information website at http://www.dineatschool.co.uk/eastsussexla/index.aspx


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