To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 13 December 2016 to Question 56826 on Free School Meals, what progress his Department has made in making free school meal registration processes more efficient; and if he will make a statement.
19 November 2021
The department wants as many eligible pupils as possible to claim their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.
Since December 2016, when the referenced question was asked, the department has continued to develop and provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have continued to provide a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals.
The department has also provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.