Free school meals for more Highland pupils (04/12/09)

The Highland Council is urging parents and carers in the Highlands not to waste their cash but to take advantage of the fact that more people are now entitled to free school meals.

Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “The eligibility criteria for free school meals and school clothing has been extended, and this means that some people who were previously not entitled may now be. There is money to be saved out there if only people would accept it.”

The Scottish Government extended free meal entitlement throughout Scotland in August 2009.

Parents or carers who are in receipt of both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, and have an income below the threshold for receipt of maximum Working Tax Credit, currently set by the UK Government at £6,420, are now entitled to free school lunches.

Councillor Fernie urged people with children at Highland schools to reconsider if their circumstances have changed or if they are eligible to claim.

Free school meals and assistance with school clothing can be claimed if parents/carers are receiving any one of the following:

  • Income Support (which includes Guarantee Pension Credit); or
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance; or
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance; or
  • Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,040 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue); or
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue).
  • Pupils who are 16 – 18 yrs old and receive any of these benefits in their own right can then claim for themselves.
  • Asylum seekers receiving support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 are also eligible for free school meals and assistance with school clothing.

Application forms and information sheets are available at Council Service Points, through local schools or on the council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk

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