Free School Meals and Uniform Grants


Free School Meals

Payments for Free School Meals

Mold Alun & Ysgol Maes Garmon – FSM update 04/05/21

Due to the above schools being shut on 04/05/21, parents of all FSM eligible children in the above schools only will be paid £3.90, to represent the 1 lost school day.

Our payment file for this will be generated in line with any Covid related absences on Monday 10/05/21.  Parents should expect payment to reach their bank account by Thursday 13/05/21 .  

We would kindly request that patents refrain from contacting us regarding this issue, unless payment has not reached their bank account by 14/05/21.  

Contact: FreeSchoolMeals@flintshire.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my child has to be absent due to COVID?  Do I get a payment like when schools are closed?

Yes – Every school lets us know which children/classes have to be absent for COVID reasons.  If this happens, we get a spreadsheet from your child’s school to let us know.  We will then pay you whilst your child is absent.

How often/when will you pay me in the above situation?

This depends on how long your child is off school for.  If we know from the onset that they are absent due to having either a positive test, or if a whole class/year/school has to isolate, we will pay for 10 school days (2 weeks) at the point we are told as this is the isolation period in line with Government guidelines.  Unlike when schools are closed, we cannot pay until we know your child is absent and schools let us know about this every Friday, as it is logistically easier knowing who has been in school or absent after a full week has passed. This means that a payment for COVID related absence is usually at least a week after we are informed of the absence.

I have a child or another child starting school in September.  Will they automatically get free school meals?

No – You have to apply for FSM for every child.  Once they are in receipt of FSM, you don’t need to re-apply.

I think I’m missing payment/s or I haven’t had a payment/s.  Why is this?

You have to have live claim for FSM to allow us to make payments.  If you haven’t received a payment, it is likely because we do not hold your bank details.  In 2020, we carried out a large exercise with the help of schools to get parents to give us their bank details so that we could pay them, but not everybody replied.  If you think you have missed out on payments, please contact us via email at: FreeSchoolMeals@flintshire.gov.uk

What is free school meals policy?
Free school meals will be provided for pupils whose parents receive:

  • Income Support,
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance,
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999,
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190,
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit,
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit.
  • Universal credit(If earned income is included in the assessment of UC it must be less than £616.66)

Why is it important to apply?
If you are eligible to receive free school meals it is very important to your child’s school that you apply. The school can access funding for children who qualify for free school meals that will allow them to provide targeted support programs, buy equipment and resources etc.

If your child prefers to take a packed lunch or make other arrangements it is still important to register for free school meals so the school can access funding. 

How do I apply?
You must complete an online form to apply for free school meals.

For Enquires
Email: FreeSchoolMeals@flintshire.gov.uk

Uniform Grants

We have received additional funding from Welsh Government that extends the academic years that Uniform Grant is available to.  If you have not already done so, you can apply for a child that is in any of the following years: Reception, Year 1, Year 3, Year 5, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11.

Our funding for these years is available for a limited time (until 30/06/2021) so you must make your claim before this date.


Please note, if you apply now for children going in to any of the above years in September 2021, we cannot assess your application now as our funding for 2021/22 does not become available until mid-July.  Any applications received now for September 2021 will be held until our funding is available.
We have put together some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) below. 

Please read these carefully before applying.


In order to be eligible to apply, parents must already be in receipt of, or applying for Free School Meals based on the following income;

• Income Support,

 • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance,

 • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999,

 • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, 

• Child Tax Credit,

 • provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190, 

• Guarantee element of State Pension Credit,

 • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit. 

• Universal credit(If earned income is included in the assessment of UC it must be less than £616.66)


The Funding is also available to all looked after children (Foster Care) of compulsory school age and pupils with no recourse to public funds.You must complete an online form to apply for uniform grants.  Please do not apply if you have already received a uniform grant for your child for the 2020/21 academic year.  You cannot claim twice.

For Enquires Email: FreeSchoolMeals@flintshire.gov.uk

You must complete an online form to apply for uniform grants.

FAQ


I have already received £125 (£200 for year 7) for my child.  Does this mean I can apply again?

No – If you have already received a payment for your child, you cannot apply again.


I have heard that there is new criteria to pay £125 for laptops or tablets.  I’ve already had £125 for uniform, can I get this £125 for a laptop or tablet as well?

No – Welsh Government guidance is very clear; only 1 claim per school year is permitted.  If you have already received £125 (£200 for year 7), you cannot claim again.

What happens if I do apply but I’ve already received a grant for the 2020/21 academic year?

We would request parents to not apply again as it takes time for our team to check if you have had a claim before, or not.  This is time that could be better spent helping people that are making valid claims.  If you do apply and you’ve already received a grant this year, your application will be refused.


It used to be only reception, year 3, 7 & 10 that could apply.  Why has this changed to include more years?

Welsh Government have introduced the changes to assist parents, especially for the school years where clothing etc is expensive.  The years that can now apply are Reception, 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 , 9, 10 & 11.

We are still in the 2020/21 academic year, why could I not apply for this last year when my child went in to one of these new eligible years?

Welsh Government have changed the scheme now and told us that we can pay for the new years that now qualify in the current academic year.

Is there a deadline for applying for the 2020/21 academic year?

Yes – This funding is only available until 30/06/21.  If you apply after this date, we will only be able to assess your application for the 2021/22 academic year that starts September 2021.


What happens if I apply now, but my child isn’t in one of the years that is eligible?

If your child is going into any of the eligible years in September 2021, we will hold your application for the time being.  This is because we don’t receive our funding for the 2021/22 academic year (September 2021 onwards) until about mid-July.  We cannot pay you until we have the funds available, so we will keep hold of your application until we receive funding.  We will then process your application and let you know if your application was successful.


Can you not just pay me for my children that are now eligible?

No – The funds we administer are public funds and we have to ensure we have an application from the parent.  We also have to retain these for audit purposes and in case we have any issues with your uniform grant in future.

Why have you not promoted this change? People need to know to be able to claim it.

We share this frustration.  Welsh Government introduced these changes with little warning and there were many questions we had to ask that were unclear.  We had to act fast and change computer systems and application criteria to allow people to apply and to allow us to make payments.  We are looking at ways to get this information to parents including contact with schools, so that parents can find out about this change and apply.


I need more information or I need to check if I’ve claimed before.

We would kindly ask parents to email us at FreeSchoolMeals@flintshire.gov.uk to find out.  When things change, or when something new happens, we get inundated with calls and this is time that our team could spend processing applications.  We aim to respond to emails within 48 hours.