Transitional protection for free school meals

From the Department for Education

We will protect all pupils that would have lost their entitlement to free school meals as a result of the change in the qualifying period. 

This will operate as follows: 

  • Any pupil eligible for free school meals before 1 April 2018 will keep their free school meal eligibility until the revised end date of 31 March 2023.
  • Any pupil who becomes eligible during the roll-out of the Universal Credit (from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023) will keep their eligibility until 31 March 2023.
  • Once the revised roll-out of Universal Credit has completed (31 March 2023), any losing pupil will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education eg primary in year 6 or secondary in year 11.
  • This applies whether parents receive Universal Credit or legacy benefits.
  • Pupils will keep their eligibility even if their circumstances change between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023. 
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