Pupil Premium & Free School Meals
Student Support
The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.

In most cases the Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.  To see how Grove School have utilised their Pupil Premium allocation, please see the following page:   Pupil Premium

Who qualifies for Free School Meals

Free school meals can only be awarded if you or your partner are claiming any of the following:

  • Income support
  • Job-seekers allowance – income based
  • Employment and support allowance - income related
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child tax credit, provided you're not entitled to working tax credit and have an annual income that doesn't exceed £16,190
  • Guarantee element of state pension credit.

Note: children are eligible for free school meals for a four week period immediately after their parent/carer becomes unemployed, or reduces their hours to less than 16 hours a week, but is still in receipt of working tax credit.

Children in recipt of Free School Meals also have an allocation of Pupil Premium which can offer further financial support to students in school and help with trips and external visits and activities.  Parents eligle from Free School Meals should apply in order to receive these benefits even if the student does not wish to receive meals at school.

Frequently asked questions:

Who can claim government free school meals?
Generally, parents or carers who don't work, or who work fewer than 16 hours a week, are eligible to claim free school meals, as are students under the age of 19 who claim a qualifying benefit in their own right.

I receive working tax credit
You're not entitled to free school meals. Working tax credit is extra financial support claimed via HM Revenue and Customs for people working 16 hours or more a week but earning a low wage. The amount paid is based on your personal circumstances. This extra financial support means that you're not entitled to free school meals.

I qualify for free school meals, but the school will know about my financial situation if I apply. Can I apply without the school knowing how much I receive in benefits?
The arrangements for checking benefit evidence don't disclose how much you receive, or even which benefit you receive. See the free school meals eligibility checking process for more information.

Previously, I had to re-apply for free school meals each year - has this changed?
Yes. We can now re-use the information provided in your original application to make repeat automatic checks. This removes the need for you to keep reapplying. See the free school meals eligibility checking process for information on the checks that will be carried out.

I have just lost/given up my job - can I claim free school meals?
Yes. Where a parent is entitled to working tax credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment stops, or after they start to work fewer than 16 hours a week, their children will be entitled to free school meals. This is to cover the interim period before your benefit starts.

I'm not sure whether I qualify for free school meals
If you have any doubt as to whether you can claim free school meals, please telephone the Shropshire Council Customer Services team on 0345 678 9000 for helpful advice.

What do I do if my free school meal benefit stops?
Please notify the Free School Meals team immediately. Once your benefit stops you'll have to make alternative arrangements for your child(ren)'s meals. If you fail to let us know, you may be charged for the full cost of any meals taken from the date your benefit stopped.

Why have my free school meals been cancelled?
This could be for many reasons. Please call the Shropshire Council Customer Services team on 0345 678 9000 who will be happy to help and advise you.

My children all go to different schools - should I fill a separate application form for free school meals for each child?
The award is made for the family/household. You can include all your children on one form, so long as they all attend schools in Shropshire. Shropshire parents whose children attend schools in another local authority area should contact that authority for the award of free school meals.

My child has just started school and already has brothers and sisters who get free school meals - do I need to reapply?
Yes. You need to reapply so that the new child can be included in the family's current free school meals award.

​To apply for Free School Meals please complete the application form and return to the school office or you can apply on line 

Application form

Who's Who?
Tutor Groups
Free School Meals & Pupil Premium
Grove Connex
Wellbeing Area
Free School Meal application form
Free School Meal application online