School Meals and Milk
Children can have a school cooked meal or bring their own packed lunch. School meals are cooked at school and served in the halls. The menu is varied, with a vegetarian option. We send home a menu seasonally but also arrange special meals to celebrate occasion's (e.g. harvest, Christmas, ‘Year 6 Leavers’ Lunch).
Meals for infant children are provided free. Meals for junior children cost £2.50 per day. Payment for meals is made online via Arbor. Parents are given a secure log-in in order to be able to do this. If a child is absent, any payments made are carried forward to their return. Children who bring a packed lunch should bring this in a box clearly marked with their name. Drinks should be in a non-breakable container - no glass bottles or cans please and no fizzy drinks. If you send fruit, we ask that wherever possible you peel and prepare it for the younger children. To encourage healthy eating, no sweets or chocolate bars are allowed. In the summer months, the children are able to eat their sandwiches on the picnic benches outside.
As we have children with allergies, Watermore is a nut free school - please do not send in any food that contains nuts of any kind, including peanut butter.
School dinners cost £2.50 per day, £12.50 per week
Free School Meals
Who qualifies for free school meals?
Under current rules, your child might be able to get free school meals if you get 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 guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
Infant free school meals
Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2
This includes academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision as well as maintained schools. You do not need to apply for free school meals if your child meets the above criteria, however if you are on a low income you should still apply so that your child’s school can claim the Pupil Premium. This is extra money paid direct to schools for each child who is eligible for free school meals due to the household being on a low income. It is used to support your child’s education.
How do I apply for free school meals?
You can apply online via the Citizen Portal using the link below. We will then check your eligibility and let you know whether you qualify. Please note, if you have already completed a primary or secondary school place application for the 2017/18 academic year via the portal, you do not need to re-register when applying for free school meals. Please use the login details that you have already set up.
What happens after I have completed my application?
- we will check your eligibility for free school meals
- if you qualify for a free school meal under the benefit criteria, a letter will be sent to you confirming your free school meal entitlement.
- your child or children’s school will also be informed.
- contact your child’s school to find out how your child’s lunch will be served
- free school meals cannot be granted to any child until either the school or ourselves have received a correctly completed application
- entitlement to free school meals cannot be backdated
- schools will know if your child qualifies for a universal Infants free school meal.
What happens if my circumstances change?
If you are claiming free school meals due to receiving a qualifying benefit, or having a low income, you must inform us immediately if your circumstances change by telephoning 01454 868008. If you stop receiving one of the benefits listed above you will need to inform us because your entitlement to free school meals will stop.
Giving false information or failing to disclose a change in circumstances may lead to legal proceedings.
What do I do to maintain my claim for free school meals?
Your claim for free school meals will be reviewed on a regular basis. We use an online free school meals eligibility checking system provided by the Department for Education to confirm your entitlement.
Please note the online checking system only confirms or denies your eligibility to claim free school meals: it does not give us any other information. If we cannot confirm your entitlement through this process we will contact you to ask you to provide up-to-date evidence of the benefit you receive.
Will I need to re-apply if my child changes school?
Your child remains entitled to free school meals as long as you are eligible. Free meal entitlement will automatically follow your child to the next stage of their education (i.e., in September) and the new school will be advised of this.
All children under 5 receive a free carton of milk every day. If you child is over 5 and in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and still wishes to have a daily carton of milk, this can be ordered direct through School Milk Services Ltd at a cost of less than £2 a week. Please click on the link below for more information.