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Support during national lockdown
Schools will continue to provide free school meals for pupils who are currently attending school. Pupils who are not attending school and who are eligible for benefits related free school meals will continue to receive free school meals during this time. How these free school meals are provided will be at the school's discretion, and may be in the form of a food parcel, or voucher for example.
Free school meals - support during Christmas and February
If your child is eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals, then Ealing Council will be providing your household with additional financial support through the winter months.
You will receive a supermarket voucher before Christmas to support you to meet food costs over the school holidays. A second voucher will be issued ahead of the February half term.
This is part of the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme. Ealing Council has been allocated approximately £1m to support to families with young children on low incomes who have been affected by the pandemic throughout the winter period.
A company called Blackhawk Network is administering the voucher scheme for Ealing Council at no cost to the council.
How much are the vouchers worth?
December voucher - £30 per eligible pupil to cover the two-week Christmas holiday.
February voucher - You will be provided with information about the February voucher separately closer to the time.
Please note that children in Reception to Year 2 who receive a free school meal under the universal infant free school meals scheme are not entitled to receive the vouchers.
To be eligible, you must be entitled to a benefits-related free school meal due to your low family income.
How do I redeem the voucher?
1. Blackhawk Network will email you a 16-digit code. This will be sent to the email address the pupil support team have on their records. Please keep an eye on your inbox and check your junk or spam folder. If the pupil support team do not hold an email address for you, your code will be posted to you.
2. When you have received your code, go to www.select-your-reward.co.uk
3. Type in your unique 16-digit code on the homepage and click ‘Redeem’
4. Make your selection and click ‘Checkout’
5. Enter a valid email address where your confirmation and voucher will be sent.
6. Review and accept the terms and conditions before placing your order.
7. Once you have placed your order, your voucher will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
8. You can use your voucher either online or in store
Where can I spend the voucher?
You can choose where you spend your voucher. The voucher can be used at the following retailers:
The voucher should be used to purchase food and should not be spent on non-essential items. Prices vary from one place to another so you might want to consider comparing prices for the items you need before deciding which supermarket to use.
If you have any questions, please refer to the frequently asked questions on the website as these may provide the answer that you need: https://www.select-your-reward.co.uk/Faqs
If you have not received a voucher code by 21st December 2020, please check your junk or spam mailbox folder.
Otherwise, please complete the online contact form at https://www.select-your-reward.co.uk/ContactUs
Please do not contact your school directly regarding your vouchers.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government has temporarily extended the free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Families can apply if they are from these groups:
- Children of Zambrano carers
- Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- Children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction.
Applicants from the groups above can be earning up to a maximum household income of £7,400 a year after tax.
In addition, the government is extending this offer to children of failed asylum seekers who are being supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Applicants from this group are not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.
This extension to the government's free school meals scheme is temporarily in place to support families facing difficulties due to the current unique circumstances.
It covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.
For more information, read the government guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak (link is external).
The application form can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page. Please email the completed application form with any necessary documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have trouble using or understanding the application form or if you have any questions, please get in touch wit the Family Information Service for advice and guidance.
Email email@example.com or call 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following benefits. This also applies if you are newly in receipt of benefits due to a change of circumstances:
- 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 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may 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
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.
In addition to the vouchers to support families through the school holidays, Ealing Council is topping up the Local Welfare Assistance fund with an additional £130,000 to help anyone facing financial hardship as a result of Coronavirus.
Anyone struggling to meet food costs, cover their rent or purchase essential items can apply for financial assistance.To find more information or to make an application go to, https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201264/help_for_residents/2687/help_with_your_money/2
You can also visit our Food Banks page for details of food banks operating during this time.