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Mowlem Primary

Free School Meals

Free school meals during the school closure

Provision of free school meals at schools for vulnerable children and children of key workers

The council provides the school’s catering and we will continue to provide meals to vulnerable children and the children of key workers who are currently attending the school.

Voucher scheme for free school meals

The government announced on 31st March 2020 that children eligible for benefits-related free schools meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

The school will be providing the food bag service on Friday 4th April and will then be moving to the national voucher scheme.


Under the national voucher scheme the school can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

Vouchers will be provided electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.


The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department for Education working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.


Parents will receive the voucher through the school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.


All children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will receive a £15 weekly voucher during term time while the school is closed.


Qualification for the benefits-related free school meals vouchers is based on the parent(s) being in receipt of any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income of £16,190 or less
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
  • Universal Credit (provided their annual net earned income does not exceed £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of the most recent monthly assessment periods).

What do I need to do now?

To support in setting up the vouchers as quickly as possible we would like you to you to email us the following (from the email address you would like to receive the voucher to):

First Name          Last Name           Names of child/ren          Email address (you would like the voucher to                                                                                                    be sent to)         

Change in circumstances

We are aware that some families’ circumstances have changes in recent weeks and you may now be eligible for the benefit-related free school meals.

If you are now in receipt of the benefits listed above please either:

  • Email: head@mowlem.towerhamlets.sch.uk or admin@mowlem.towerhamlets.sch.uk, with your full name, date of birth, national insurance number for both parents and the names of your child/ren. We will check your eligibility and add your children on to the voucher scheme if you are eligible.
  • Use the Free School Meals Eligibility Checker via the link below:



How to claim free school meals

The child’s parent (or guardian) must make a claim either by:

  • completing a paper copy of the claim form available from schools or by telephoning the benefits service on 020 7364 5000
  • making a claim for housing and/or council tax benefit (which also counts as a claim for free school meals – you do not need to complete a separate form in this case)

Information and evidence required

  • the child’s name, date of birth and school
  • evidence of the parent’s (or guardian’s) income (unless this has been provided already)

Children of Parents in Receipt of Universal Credit

Prior to 1 April 2018 children of parents in receipt of Universal Credit were entitled to free school meals. However, the Government has now limited eligibility for UC recipients by introducing a net annual earnings cap of £7,400, (£616.66 per month).

Transactional protection

Children who were getting Free School Meals on 31 March 2018, (including those children whose entitlement was based on the national universal FSM provisions) will continue to be entitled until UC is fully rolled out nationally regardless of any changes to the parents income.