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Cottesmore Academy

School meals

We believe the school lunchtime is a great opportunity for all children to sit down together and enjoy a healthy and tasty meal, whilst developing their social skills.

Good food and good food culture has been shown to lead not only to healthier, happier and more fulfilled children, but improved educational attainment.

Our children and staff eat together every day, promoting good behaviour and a positive atmosphere. We do stagger the lunchtime slightly with EYFS beginning their lunchtime at 12:00, and the rest of the school filtering in from 12:10.

Families may select the meals their child eats by using the Love Food online system. There is always a choice between freshly prepared hot meals, jacket potatoes, soup and packed lunches or they are welcome to bring a packed lunch from home.

Meals are provided by Love Food and are free for children in EYFS and KS1. For children in KS2 the cost is £2.50 per day. If your child is entitled to free school meals please notify the school office even if they are in EYFS or KS1. 



Eligibility criteria for free school meals 


Section 512 of the Education Act 1996, as amended, places a duty on maintained schools, academies and free schools to provide free school meals to pupils of all ages that meet the criteria. 


Who is eligible for free school meals? 


Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit 


From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time. 


  • In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period. 
  • Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. primary or secondary).


The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2022.


A pupil is only eligible to receive a free school meal when a claim for the meal has been made on their behalf, and their eligibility has been verified by the school where they are enrolled or by the local authority. 


If you think your child may be eligible to receive free school meals please ask the school office to check your eligibility.  Forms are available from the office and may be downloaded from this website.


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