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Latest arrangements for free school meals in Aberdeenshire confirmed


By Kirsty Brown

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Following the announcement by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on Tuesday, February 16, Aberdeenshire Council have confirmed the following arrangements regarding Free School Meals.

Primary 1-3 pupils

  • Any statutory free school meal payments will cease to these year groups and all pupils will receive universal free meals (P1-3) at school.
  • A statutory free school meal payment will only be made to those pupils entitled to statutory free school meals if the absence is as a result of non-attendance due to Covid 19 isolation or closure.

Primary 4-7 pupils

  • If the school returns P1-7 in one class schools, then the free school meals entitlement will be provided within the school in the form of a meal.Pupils in P4-7-year groups who will not be in attendance in school will continue to receive payment for a three week period from Monday, February 22 to Sunday, March 14.The payment of £52.50 per child, is comprised by 3 weeks free school meals entitlement at £12.50 per week and £5 per week breakfast money.
  • There will be provision of meals for children of key workers, these meals will require to be paid for in the normal way.

Secondary pupils

  • Secondary pupils entitled to statutory free school meals will continue to receive payment for a three-week period from Monday, February 22 to Sunday, March 14.

The payment of £52.50 per pupil, is comprised by three weeks free school meals entitlement at £12.50 per week and £5 per week breakfast money.

  • There will be provision of meals for any pupils in attendance and these meals will require to be paid for in the normal way.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible families already in receipt of free school meals, do not have to apply for this funding.

If you have recently applied for income based free school meals, please be assured that we are dealing with all applications as quickly as possible and we will contact you direct when your application has been processed.

Families who are on a low income but not currently in receipt of free school meals can check entitlement by completing the online form 'Check entitlement and apply for free school meals' .

The current eligibility criteria are as follows but is included in the entitlement checker mentioned above.

Children are eligible for free school meals if their parents (or carers) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

The qualifying benefits and allowances are:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Any income related element of Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit (WTC), and have an income of less than £16,105
  • Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an income of less than £7,330
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit with a monthly take home pay of less than £610

If you are aged 16-18 years old and receive any of the above qualifying benefits in your own right, you can apply for free school meals.

For more information you can visit: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/schools/school-info/assistance/free-school-meals/

Any future arrangements beyond Sunday, 14 March in relation to direct payments of free school meals and the £100 Covid Spring Hardship Payment for low-income families will be made available to you in due course.


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