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Free school meals

Voucher scheme for children staying at home and eligible for free school meals

A national voucher scheme has been introduced by the Government that will allow children eligible for free school meals to still access that provision while they stay at home.

While schools are closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), every child staying at home and eligible for free school meals can now be provided with a £15 weekly shopping voucher by their school to spend at supermarkets. The vouchers can be spent at a range of shops, including Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

Schools in the borough are making arrangements to provide these vouchers to those children on their roll who are registered as eligible for free school meals.

Parents whose children are already receiving free school meals will be contacted by the school and need take no further action. Any parent who has previously completed a Merton free school meals application but was not entitled at the time will not need to reapply. Your details are checked regularly against the government database by Merton Council and if you become entitled to free school meals, Merton Council will inform your child's school and they will contact you.

We would urge any parent who has not previously submitted a free school meal application to do so via the link below. You will be advised if you are entitled and, if you are, your child's school will be able to arrange for you to receive your voucher.

The voucher scheme is being administered by schools directly. If your child is eligible for free school meals and you have any questions regarding the voucher scheme, please contact your child's school directly.

Check your eligibility

Check your eligibility and save hundreds of pounds whilst helping raise money for your child's school

We are asking all parents and guardians whose children go to school in Merton to register for the Pupil Premium scheme.

By signing up to the Pupil Premium scheme your school could receive hundreds of pounds from the Department for Education. For every eligible parent who signs up, the school could be in line for up to £1320 to spend on resources such as extra staff, books or school trips. In addition, one of the added extras of this scheme is the opportunity for your child to receive free nutritious meals at school; which research has shown links to educational attainment.

How to apply

Apply online

If your child is attending a Merton school, please take a couple of minutes to complete the online form. In order for us to check if your school can claim the Pupil Premium we need you to complete this form so your eligibility can be checked via the Department for Education's website. The website will only show whether or not you are eligible for the scheme - it does not give us any other information about you or your child.

Paper application

If you are unable to complete an online application, you can apply at your child's school or at the Civic Centre in Morden.

You may also download the form and return it to School Admissions (address below).

Free school meals and Pupil Premium paper application form

What happens if my child is eligible for the Pupil Premium scheme?

The school will look after everything. They will ask if you would like your child to receive free meals at school and the Pupil Premium funding will automatically be passed to them. The school will be able to tell you how the extra money is being used.

What happens if my child is not eligible for the Pupil Premium scheme?

The Pupil Premium scheme's fundamental aim is to enhance students learning and to assist financially when required. Even if you are not eligible for the scheme right now, circumstances may change during the 12 years they are at school and they may need some support in later years. If you apply for the scheme now, we can check your eligibility throughout the time your child is at school. Should your circumstances change at any time, we can take care of everything.

Do I need to apply for the Pupil Premium if my child already receives free meals at school?

Yes please. Although children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are currently eligible for free meals, we are unable to check your eligibility for the full Pupil Premium scheme unless you complete an application form.

How will the school use the extra money?

Each school may use the funding slightly differently and will publish what they do on their website. Some examples of how Merton schools are currently using the money include the following:

  • introducing reading and homework clubs
  • summer schools to help children with transition to secondary school
  • subsidising the cost of school trips or uniform
  • paying for additional staffing
  • providing for small group tuition
  • providing a wide range of extra-curricular activities

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8274 4906