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Overview - Free school meals

Parents claiming some benefits can claim free school meals for any of their children who are registered at a Staffordshire school and who would normally be at school at lunch time. School meals are a good way to ensure that your child eats well at lunchtime and you can save yourself time and money.

Even if you don't want your children to have the meals, claiming them helps their school. The more eligible parents who claim meals, the more funding the school receives.



Free school meals for reception, year 1 and 2 children

From September 2014, if you have an infant age child (those in reception, year 1 or year 2) they can receive free school meals even if you don't meet the entitlement criteria and without completing an application for them. For more information contact your school.

Pupil Premium

For every pupil registered with us as eligible under the entitlement criteria, the school will receive extra funding. This is called the pupil premium. It is used to help raise achievement levels. 

Each school decides how to spend the funding. They must publish details of what they have spent it on and the impact it has had.

So that schools (and pupils) can continue to benefit from this extra funding it is important that parents who do meet the  entitlement criteria continue to register their claim with us.



Data protection and fair processing

Any personal data collected through your application for free school meals is handled securely and in accordance with Data Protection Legislation. 

We collect personal data including your child’s name, address, date of birth, name of current and previous school, parent or guardian name, address and date of birth, national insurance number, asylum seeker number and details provided of benefits being claimed from your free school meals application. 

We will use the information to process your application for free school meals for your child(ren). 

Your application for free school meals will be kept for 6 years after processing and will then be destroyed securely.

We will share your data with schools and other agencies in order for them to carry out their statutory duties and to provide free school meals. In order to check your entitlement the parent/guardian information (name, date of birth, national insurance number of asylum seeker number) will be shared with the Eligibility Checking System, a service from the Department for Education which in turn shares information with the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Access to the Eligibility Checking System is limited to local authorities.    

We always try to ensure that information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. To help us do this please let us know if you or your child’s details change. 

If you would like further advice on how the information provided is used or have a concern please contact the Free School Meals Service in the first instance. 

Further information on how we utilise your personal data is available on our privacy notice and your data pages.





Frequently asked questions

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