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

Once you have completed the form please email it to: 

NRPF Application Form for temporary free school meals

The government has also temporarily extended free school meals to new groups who are struggling with finances during the lockdown.  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:

  • A Zambrano carer
  • Have the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the ECHR 
  • Receiving support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 AND are subject to a NRPF condition

With exception of those receiving support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, you must also be earning less than £7,400 per year after tax.

To apply for temporary free school meals during the school closure please download the form by clicking on this link and returning it to with photos of the necessary supporting documentation as detailed on the form here.

Free School Meals – changes and additional benefits during school closure

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.

Any parent/carer who has a new “pending” status could be eligible to receive free school meals vouchers whilst they are awaiting the outcome of their benefits application.  These supermarket vouchers are for £15 per Ipswich Academy student per week.  Ipswich Academy will notify parents by email which must be replied to if this happens.  We encourage all parents and carers to check their email accounts on a regular basis, including spam folders, to see if they have received this email.

Free School Meals – downloading free school meals vouchers

Ipswich Academy obtains all it’s free school meals vouchers via the Government’s provider Edenred.  You will receive an eCode email from Ipswich Academy each week which allows you to login to the Edenred website to choose vouchers from the following supermarkets :

  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury’s
  • ASDA
  • Waitrose (John Lewis)
  • M&S Food
  • Aldi
  • McColl’s (including RS McColl’s and Martin’s)

Each supermarket has their own different terms and conditions detailing whether or not their own vouchers can be used online or in store and how long they are valid for.  We strongly advise everyone using the Edenred website to carefully read through the Parent and Carer FAQ document which will help you to login and decide upon the best vouchers for you.

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.  If the result we received from our provider is “pending” this is usually due to the ongoing assessment of a benefit application by the government.

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) 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.

5) My benefits claim has not yet been approved but I have been offered free school meals vouchers.  How does this work?

If you are contacted by Ipswich Academy and told you have a new “pending” status then you will be offered free school meals vouchers using the Edenred website.   If you receive confirmation from Ipswich Academy that you are officially entitled to free school meals then nothing will change, you will continue to receive the vouchers and when school reopens the student will receive their free school meals at school.  But if your claim is declined and you are not entitled then you will no longer receive the vouchers.  You will not be required to repay any vouchers if this happens, the vouchers will simply stop and Ipswich Academy will incur the cost.

6) I am having trouble with receiving my vouchers from the Edenred website.  Who do I contact for assistance?

If you experience any issues with your code or receiving the vouchers once you have logged on the website please refer to the Parent and Carer FAQ document first by clicking here.

If you are still unable to resolve the issues then please reply to the email from Ipswich Academy for that particular week with details of the problem.If you have any other query regarding free school meals then please email us at

Last updated May 26, 2020