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Free School Meal Application Process

All parent/carers of children resident in West Sussex can apply for free school meals (FSM) if they qualify under the eligibility criteria. Applying for free school meals entitles children at St Mary’s CE Primary School for a free lunch to the value of £2.97. In addition, students eligible for Free School Meals enable the school to gain additional funds from the Department for Education in the form of the 'pupil premium'.

Other benefits include, school holiday meal vouchers and financial support to help towards residential trips, uniform and similar additional costs.

On average parents spend £400 on packed lunches per year for each child, which is money that could be spent on other things. At St Mary’s CE Primary School the allowance of £2.97 a day will buy a two course hot meal for your son/daughter.

For more information on how St Mary’s CE Primary School uses Pupil Premium funding (including free school meals) please click here

Eligibility criteria:

You are entitled to a free school meal if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit, and have an annual income of £16,190 or less
  • 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 1st April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

For information on how to apply please visit the West Sussex County Council website link here.

 From 1st January 2024 there will be a new process in place which is entirely online. The new system will give parents an instant indication of FSM eligibility with the aim of ensuring eligible students receive their FSM entitlement as quickly as possible. 

Step by Step Guide: FSM Application Process

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