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You may be able to get free school meals and extra funding for your child’s school through the Pupil Premium, if you receive certain benefits.

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

Check your eligibility and help your 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.

Please note that Universal Credit is not an automatic indicator of entitlement.

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

Should I 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, and under the Mayor of London’s initiative all remaining primary school pupils are receiving free meals in the 2023/24 school year, we are unable to check your eligibility for the full Pupil Premium scheme unless you complete an application form.

What happens next

Children eligible for the Pupil Premium scheme

If your 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.

Children not eligible for the Pupil Premium scheme

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.

How schools 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

Free school holiday food vouchers

We have agreed to provide the funding for Merton state funded schools to continue to provide supermarket vouchers for pupils with benefits related Free School Meals until at least and including the Summer holidays 2024. The funding will be available to enable schools to issue vouchers to the value of £15 per FSM child per week for each of the holidays and standard half term weeks, so £90 for the summer holidays, £30 for each of the Christmas and Easter holidays, and £15 for each of the October and February half terms.

If you are eligible but do not receive your vouchers, please contact your child's school directly.

We will also be providing directly for Merton residents with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) who are eligible for free school meals and attending a non-maintained or independent school paid for by Merton. Please contact sen@merton.gov.uk if you believe you are eligible.

This scheme is funded by the Household Support Grant, a temporary grant from government. 

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8274 4906
Email: admissions@merton.gov.uk