Free School Meals: Eligibility

Department for Education written question – answered am ar 15 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Field of Birkenhead Lord Field of Birkenhead Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they have provided, if any, to local authorities about using data proactively to identify and register all eligible children for free school meal entitlement.

Photo of Lord Field of Birkenhead Lord Field of Birkenhead Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential merits of local authorities using data proactively to identify and register children eligible for free school meals.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Lords Spokesperson (Equalities)

Maximising the take-up of free school meals is important in ensuring that as many eligible children as possible benefit from a healthy and nutritious meal. The department aims to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this, an ‘Eligibility Checking System’ has been provided to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities.

The department has looked at this issue and considers there to be merit in local authorities exploring initiatives to maximise take up and to better understand the barriers that prevent such take up, whilst ensuring adherence to legal and data protection constraints. The department has not provided formal guidance to support these activities but continues to engage with key stakeholder on this issue.

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