The Government are proposing thresholds that would result in more children becoming eligible for free school meals and early years entitlements. Currently free school meals are “passported” by entitlement to other benefits that will disappear with the introduction of Universal Credit. We therefore need to introduce earnings thresholds which will enable us to offer support towards a greater number of families on low incomes.
To provide certainty for families, we propose to protect current free school meals recipients until the end of the rollout of Universal Credit, and from then on for the rest of their current phase of education. Similar protection arrangements will apply for the early years pupil premium. This consultation will run until mid-January with regulations expected to come into force in April.
Please see links below for further information regarding the consultation.