Bradford Council's Transport and Education Team, administers Free School Meals for most schools in the Bradford District. We hope the following information is useful for schools . We also put regular news items on the news page of Bradford Schools Online,
so please make sure that staff in school that deal with free school meal queries read the news items.
Please can all schools ensure that they submit any new applications or amendments as soon as possible to ensure that they are processed in time for the Census on 21st January 2021. Applications submitted on Census day may not be processed in time
to be included in your returns.
We continue to receive a high volume of applications in part as a result of the current COVID-19 virus and the effect it is having on some household incomes. Can you continue to advise parents that where they have had to make an application for Universal
Credit for the first time, they should make an application for Free School Meals? If they are already in receipt of a Free School Meal and their income has changed they do not need to apply again, these children are on your school’s Bradford Schools on Line
list. If a pupil is in school because their parent is a key worker and they do not ordinarily get a free school meal, then they should not be applying for one.
Please can you continue to check your full list of children on a regular basis. If there are any discrepancies please contact us as soon as possible, As you are aware children are not being taken off Free School Meals due to transitional protection,
from legacy benefits to Universal Credit. If a child is not attending your school please let us know.
To help your school with Free School Meal administration please download our guide to the process as it operates in Bradford. It includes information on our application process, what information we send to schools and parents and also includes information
on how the introduction of free meals to infants will affect free school meals generally.
Free School Meals in Bradford - A Guide for Schools
. This guide was revised in September 2017.
Guide To Using Online Free School Meal Data
In September 2014 the lists of children who are currently eligible for Free School Meals were made available electronically to schools via this site. Level 1 and level 2 users will be able to view the data and it is held in the secure area for your school.
Instructions on how to view this data are also held here. The data is accessed on BSO after logging in. Click on your name in the top right hand of the screen and then enter “Maintenance Tools”, “Free School Meals”
Please make sure that staff who deal with Free School Meals in your school, have the relevant access.
Introduction of Universal Credit
Following the introduction of universal credit a pupils FSM status will be protected until either the end of the universal credit roll out period i.e. 31 March 2022 or until the end of their current phase of education. This means that:
- Any claimant who is in receipt of free school meals at 1 April 2018 should continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria
- Any claimant who gains eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 and until the end of universal credit rollout (31 March 2022) should continue to receive free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period. This applies even if their
circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria
- Pupils joining a school with existing protected siblings already there must apply for FSM in the normal way.
The existence of a protected sibling already in school does not automatically mean the new child will receive a FSM.
Schools should also be aware that where they enter census details of pupils ending FSM after 1st April 2018, they should check with the FSM team at the Council first to find out the reason why entitlement has ended.
All children who are entitled to Free School Meals will show on your BSO list, whether they are covered by transitional protection or not. Please continue to only give a Free School Meal to the children who show on this list.
Information on Free School Meals is on the Council's website at
www.bradford.gov.uk/schoolmeals and provides useful information about school meals in general and Free School Meals. It also list additional benefits children and parents may get if they are eligible for Free School Meals. Please publish this link on your
school website, newsletters etc as it provides useful up to date information for parents and carers.
Free School Meal Application Form
online free school meal application form has been improved so that parents get an immediate response to their application - telling them whether or not they qualify. As the online form is a much quicker, easier and efficient way for parents to apply we
have now withdrawn the paper application form from use. Please direct your parents to the online application form.
Pupil Premium Registration Form
If you are considering using the government's Free School Meal and Pupil Premium registration form you need to be aware of the following:
- Many children are already registered for Free School Meals - please check your up to date school records on the secure area of this website
- Please do not submit forms to us where children are already registered
- We will only inform schools of children who do qualify - this will be done via your school record on the secure area of this website
- Our target time for dealing with these forms is 10 working days - at busy periods of time we may not be able to deal with them in this timescale
- Please consider using the Council's online free school meal application form. You will then immediately know who qualifies and who does not
Processing Time For Applications
We will continue to try and process applications as quickly as possible. However, please be aware that during busy periods, it may not be possible to process applications on the same day that they are received.
Schools Only: If you have any queries about Free School Meals you can contact us
01274 434477, please do NOT give this telephone number out to parents
Parents must contact the Council's Contact Centre on 01274 432772.
This is the only number available to parents.