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Cherry Orchard, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9AN

01543 263505


St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Growing with Jesus

Free School Meals

To try and help keep things a bit simpler; please note the key for explaining information below between provisions.

Free School Meals (FSM) – Parents must meet the criteria detailed below and complete a application form. If you are eligible to claim, we encourage you to do so as each valid claim attracts additional funding to the school

Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) – All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be eligible for a school meal free of charge from September, no application and no additional funding to School.

  1. Free School Meals (FSM) – parents complete a simple on line application form. For every pupil registered with the council as eligible under the entitlement criteria below, the school will receive additional funding in the school budget called Pupil Premium which is used to help raise achievement levels. This also includes enabling access to facilities, clubs, and subsidising trips and residential. If you do not claim for Free School Meals, then the Pupil Premium funding will not be available for your child (e.g. subsidising the above).

Families who are eligible for FSM include those on;

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • eligible for Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and the household income (as used by HMRC to assess tax credits) is not more that £16,190. 
    Please note: anyone eligible for Working Tax Credit, or if you have a partner and they receive it, regardless of Income, you will not qualify
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit (from 30th April 2005)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • In receipt of the 4 week run on of working tax credit (this is where someone becomes unemployed or reduces their hours and so is no longer entitled to working tax credit but will continue to receive it for a further 4 weeks and is entitled to free meals during that time) 
  • Universal credit

If you wish to claim for free school meals, please type the following web address into your computer’s browser and apply online. This is the quickest way of applying for free school meals is to access this website:


  1. Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) – From September 2014, all children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 will be eligible for a Universal Free School Meal. No application is needed but no additional funding to your child’s school is received , as per the Pupil Premium. UFSM will not provide break-snack (available for Y1-Y6) this remains payable via Parentpay.

The provision of Universal Free School Meals aims to play a key role in promoting and supporting healthy eating and lifestyles. It will enable children to try a wider range of foods, as well as give them the fuel they need for an afternoon of focused and high quality learning.

You do not need to apply for UFSM your child will automatically receive it when they are at school, saving you time and expense. However, if your child does not regularly partake of a school meal we will lose the funding therefore we strongly recommend that you encourage your child to have a school meal each day, even if they only have part of the meal (eg drink, salad or pudding).

In summary:

  • If you meet the suggested criteria for FSM, please submit a claim and this will maintain the level of funding to school.
  • A blanket entitlement to Universal FSM will be provided to all in Reception Class, or Year 1 or Year 2 class.


We would encourage all parents to apply and check eligibility especially if your circumstances change.

If you need any further assistance please contact Mrs Hunt in the school office