Free School Meals – How to apply

Standard Application Form

Ipswich Academy uses the Strictly Education 4S Free School Meals Eligibility Checking Service.  The application form can be downloaded by clicking here.  Please ensure you complete both pages of the application form.

Once you have completed the form please email it to: info@ipswichacademy.org.uk 

We are aware that many families now find themselves in even more difficult financial circumstances than ever before so Ipswich Academy is submitting the details of all previous free school meals applications to our provider every week.  Specifically we are rechecking all those that were not previously eligible to see if there are any changes in their eligibility status.

Ipswich Academy will notify parents if their status changes and they become eligible for free school meals.  If you have applied by email then we will reply by email.  We encourage all parents and carers to check their email accounts on a regular basis, including spam folders, to see if they have received an email from us.

NRPF Application Form for temporary free school meals

The government has temporarily extended free school meals to new groups who are struggling with finances.  Please complete this application form if you are in one of the following categories and would like to apply for free school meals during the temporary extension as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Please note that these groups are subject to a maximum household income threshold of £28,200 for areas outside of London :

  • A Zambrano carer
  • Have no recourse to public funds with the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the ECHR 
  • Receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 AND are subject to a NRPF condition

The government is also temporarily extending eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Action 1999.  This group is not subject to a maximum household income threshold due to the fact that these families are not able to work.

To apply for temporary free school meals please download the form by clicking on this link and returning it to info@ipswichacademy.org.uk with photos of the necessary supporting documentation as detailed on the form here.  Please ensure you complete both pages of the application form.

For further detailed information on eligibility please see the government website : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups

Free School Meals – Frequently Asked Questions

1) How long will it take to process my free school meals application?

All data is submitted to our eligibility checking provider once a week and the results are usually returned to Ipswich Academy within 48 hours.  We aim to inform parents within two working days of receiving a definite positive or negative result.  

2) Will applying for or receiving free school meals affect my benefits payments?

We understand that some are concerned that applying for free school meals or receiving vouchers from us affects their benefits status.  Please rest assured that whether or not you apply or receive free school meals has no effect on any other benefit applied for or currently received by any parent or carer. 

3) I have applied for free school meals but have been advised that I am not eligible even though I am receiving benefits payments. What else can I do?  

If you believe that you are eligible for free school meals but have been told that you are not then further information including copies of any paperwork or digital forms will be required by our eligibility checking provider.  If you wish to query the result of your application then please email us at info@ipswichacademy.org.uk .

4) My circumstances have changed and I think that I am no longer entitled to free school meals.  What do I do?

The short answer is nothing!  Since the Universal Credit roll out began in April 2018 no student who was previously confirmed as eligible for free school meals can be removed from this scheme until they leave school and this protection applies until 31st March 2022.  Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing pupil who no longer meets the eligibility criteria at that point will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.

4) We have been told that we could be eligible for free school meals but we do not wish to receive them.  Why are we being asked to apply each year?

Please remember that schools are given additional funding by the Government for every child that has free school meals which is all used to improve the education of all our students.  You can apply and be confirmed as officially eligible but still refuse the vouchers and the meals.  This means that Ipswich Academy will still receive the funding which is put towards your child’s education.

If you have any other query regarding free school meals then please email us at info@ipswichacademy.org.uk .

Last updated September 4, 2020