Case Studies

Case Studies

St Stephens Primary School


Free School Meals

Every child in Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception), Year 1 and Year 2, that attends a state funded school is offered a free school lunch. This is known as 'Universal Infant Free School Meals'. The cost of the school meal is met by the government and children are welcome to stay and enjoy a nutritious hot meal with their friends.

This is a Government initiative which aims to ensure that all children can benefit from a hot meal at lunchtime. Studies show that benefits include;

  • A healthy diet
  • Improved concentration in the afternoons
  • Better behaviour and atmosphere in school as a result of all pupils eating together every day
  • A saving to parents of up to £400 a year for each child
  • Parents have also appreciated the time saved in making packed lunches each morning

If your child has a medical need for a special diet, please see the school office with the details of the diet along with a doctor’s letter. This is not necessary for vegetarian, vegan or halal meat options.


Free School Meal Benefits & Pupil Premium

Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of any of the following:

  • Universal Credit, provided annual net earned income does not exceed £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-based Employment & Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and annual gross income is £16,190 or less)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying)

If you think your child may be eligible for free school meals because of your income or circumstances, it is essential you apply for this before your child starts school or as soon as your circumstances change.  This is important, even for children who are already eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals, as it also provides additional financial support from the school which could be used to help cover the costs of school trips, milk and school uniform.  In addition, the number of children eligible for free school meals impacts the level of funding received by the school.

The school receives extra funding (Pupil Premium Grant) based on the number of children who are:

  • eligible for free school meals currently or during the past 6 years
  • from service families
  • in care of the Local Authority or adopted from care

This money is used in a variety of ways to help support these individual pupils and the whole school community.

It is really important that if you think your child is ever eligible for free school meals, however briefly, you should claim.

Healthy Lunch Boxes

Please use the following Government guidelines for your packed lunch from home.

Acceptable foods are:

  • One portion of fruit and one portion of vegetable or salad should be included in the packed lunch every day
  • Meat, fish or another source of non-dairy protein should be included everyday. (Non-dairy sources of protein include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus, peanut butter and falafel
  • An oily fish, such as salmon, should be included at least once every three weeks
  • A starchy food, such as bread or pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other cereals, should be included everyday
  • A dairy food, such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard should be included every day. (Non-dairy equivalents are also acceptable e.g. soya milk/yoghurts)
  • Free, fresh drinking water should be available at all times
  • Low sugar yoghurt/milk drinks/ smoothies/fruit juice/bottled water are acceptable drinks
  • Baked snack products such as baked crisps, rice cakes, low salt crackers and breadsticks are acceptable as additional snacks

Water only, in clear drinks bottles is allowed in the classroom (not squash or juice)

Unacceptable foods are:

  • Any food which is high in salt, fat and sugar, e.g. crisps, cakes, chocolate, sweets, processed meat products

Fun Fridays- One treat item will be allowed on Fridays, such as:

  • 2-3 Biscuits
  • A small biscuit bar e.g. Twix, KitKat
  • Crisps
  • A slice of cake/cupcake/cake bar
  • A dessert tub e.g. chocolate mousse/trifle
  • A small or medium sausage roll
  • Mini cocktail sausages/pepperoni stick

These are a few suggestions. Please keep the treat item to a modest size and avoid treats with excessive sugar/fat/salt contents.

Sweet and fizzy drinks are not permitted in school.


Free School Meal Application Form