Our school catering facility is run in-house by our wonderful Catering team.
This means we have control over what we serve and from where we source our ingredients. Students can pay for refreshments using their fob, which can be preloaded with funds online using the Parentmail +Pay portal (they can of course still pay in cash if they wish). This is the system we use for you to pay for all things school related. When you logon to Parentmail, you will see a dinner money option which will allow you to load money onto your child’s account. In order to pay for school items (including lunch money), you need to register yourself with Parentmail via the link that will be emailed to you. If you have not received an email, please contact Jayne Miller in the finance office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a student begins at FUS in Y9 to Y11, they will receive a blue catering fob, which can be attached to their keyring or popped in their wallet. Students starting in the 6th form will receive an ID card during September, which is used for catering and attendance. Students entitled to Free School Meals will have their entitlement added on to their account automatically every night ready for the next day, and their fobs/ID cards are exactly the same as all the others, so they are not identifiable.
Free School Meals – Changes from April 2018
The eligibility criteria for free school meals have been changed. The changes and how they might affect you are explained below.
What are the new eligibility criteria?
Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below.
- Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
I don’t currently claim free school meals – what does this mean for me?
If you think you might be eligible for free school meals, you need to submit a claim to Dorset County Council via their website on this link: Free School Meals – Dorset for You. Alternatively, you may obtain a form from the school office. The information you provide will be used to check if you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and, if you are on Universal Credit, that your earnings do not exceed the threshold. If you claim Universal Credit, your earnings will be assessed from up to three of your last Universal Credit assessment periods.
If you are eligible, we will be notified. Your child will receive free school meals and the school will receive extra funding to help provide additional support and resources for your child, such as revision guides and financial help with trips etc.
I am currently claiming free school meals – what does this mean for me?
Most people won’t be affected by the new criteria. If you’re currently claiming free school meals, but don’t’ meet the new criteria, your child will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the Universal Credit rollout period. This will apply even if your earnings rise above the new threshold or if you stop being entitled to Universal Credit. The rollout period is currently scheduled to end in March 2022.
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, your child will keep their free school meal until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.