Parents can now apply online for free school meals
As families across Gloucestershire prepare for the start of the new term, the county council is encouraging people to apply online for free school meals.
In May 2016, the council's Access to Learning Team launched a new online portal that enables parents and carers to apply for free school meals across the county.
The portal is a quick, easy and more efficient method for parents and carers compared to the traditional paper based system. It also makes the process easier for schools as it will no longer be necessary for them to print, fax or scan paper forms as they have done in the past.
Since the launch of the portal, almost 2,500 applications have been submitted successfully so the council's Access to Learning team is hoping to encourage even more people to use the online application process.
Anyone looking to apply for free school meals can use the online portal to check if they are eligible. Parents and carers of children that already receive Universal Infant Free School Meals are also being encouraged to apply as they could help their child's school access extra funding.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are already eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals. If a child is in Year 3 and above they may be entitled and parents or carers could save up to £437 per year.
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This new way for parents and carers to apply for free school meals is much easier and faster for everyone to use.
"Even if you aren't a computer whiz, I would urge you to try out this new system and see just how easy it is. If you do have any difficulties though, please email or phone us and we can help you through it."
For more information and to make an application visit: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.
If you have any queries regarding this or the process of applying, please contact the team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01452 425390.