Friday 10th February 2023
Dear Parents and carers
Important Changes to Free School Meal Protection Dates & What it Could Mean to You
The government has announced plans to change the way it manages the free school meal entitlement protection process.
Currently, all pupils in receipt of free school meals (means tested) keep this benefit throughout their school attendance (Lewisham schools).
This is due to change from 1st April 2023 and may affect your child’s access to free school meals.
Protected Free School Meal Entitlement
If your child receives Free School Meals and the school holiday Tesco vouchers, you DO NOT need to reapply for this benefit while they are attending a Lewisham primary school (FSM Protection).
If your child receives Universal Free School Meals (Reception & Years 1 & 2) but not the school holiday Tesco vouchers, and you qualify for free school meals, you should apply before 31st March to receive FSM protection.
If you currently pay for school meals (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6) but qualify for free school meals, you should apply before 31st March to receive FSM protection.
Unprotected Free School Meal Entitlement
If your child is in Year 6 and receives free school meals, this entitlement will no longer be transferred when they transition to secondary school, and you will need to reapply when they leave Kelvin Grove.
If you successfully apply for free school meals for your child after 31st March 2023, then you will need to reapply for this benefit each term as you will not have FSM Protection.
Who Qualifies for Free School Meals
If you are in receipt of any of the following benefits you may be eligible to receive Free School Meals for your child:
- Universal Credit – net earnings threshold of £7400 from April 2018
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit – net earnings threshold of £16190.00 from April 2018
- Guarantee element of pension credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act
If you feel that you qualify, we strongly recommend that you apply for free school meals two to four weeks prior to the deadline of 31st March 2023 in order to receive the FSM Protection https://lewisham.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals
Click here to find out more about applying for free school meals.