Monday, May 14, 2018
There has been some confusion regarding free school meals (FSM) and transitional protection, not just for schools and academies, but for the Pupil Benefits team too. The Pupil Benefits Team hope that by telling you that the team will be the one to decide who is entitled will put your minds at rest. You may still receive stop notices if we find parents/carers qualifying benefit ceased before 31/03/18. It is anticipated that the following notes answer some of your questions.
Children who attend full time or extended hours in nursery and are entitled to FSM as of 31/03/18 or become entitled whilst in nursery between 01/04/18 and 31/03/2022 will be entitled to transitional protection. They of course must meet all of the other criteria. Children starting reception class in August/September 2018 who were not entitled to FSM in nursery as of 31/03/18 will not be eligible to transitional protection, even if they become eligible to FSM at some point in their school life.
Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) will stay in place. This means that children going in to full time education (reception) in August/September 2018 will not be entitled to protected transitional entitlement. They will of course be entitled to FSM under the UIFSM scheme. If a parent/carer becomes entitled to a qualifying benefit, it is advised that they claim for FSM with Pupil Benefits so that they can receive pupil premium, (entitlement to transitional protection will be given as long as a qualifying benefit is in place by 31/03/2022).
Children who are currently entitled to FSM and are in academic years reception, 1 and 2 (or become entitled between 01/04/18 and 31/03/2022) will continue to receive FSM until they leave primary school. Children in years 3 to 6 will be entitled to FSM until they leave secondary school. The Pupil Benefits Team will still require application forms to be completed as normal.
I have been advised that it does not matter whether a child is entitled to FSM due to being in receipt of a state benefit entitlement or under the protected transitional entitlement, they will all be entitled to pupil premium.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or need clarification about this, we are always happy to help.