The Government have introduced a national scheme to provide food vouchers for those entitled to free school meals. Here is how it will work:
Guidance on the new National Voucher Scheme for those entitled to Free School Meals
Dear Parent / Guardian,
The Government has introduced a national scheme to provide food vouchers for those entitled to free school meals. Here is how it will work.
Arrangements in Stockton on Tees until 20th April
In Stockton arrangements are in place to provide free school meals, which run until the 17th April and so include the Easter holidays.
Families with children and young people who would normally have a free school meal and will not be able to get one by attending their usual school/setting can visit their nearest Family Hub to receive food for their child.
It’ll be a nutritious packed lunch that’s ready to take away.
The hubs will be serving between 11:30am and 2pm.
If you’re unable to get to a hub, a number of voluntary organisations are on hand to help. Contact Help Point on 01642 527225 or your local Family Hub:
- Billingham Family Hub, Ochil Terrace: 01642 524731
• Redhill Family Hub, Redhill Road: 01642 527224
• Stockton Family Hub, Yarm Road: 01642 528977
• Thornaby Family Hub, Tedder Avenue: 01642 528947
Arrangements from 20th April
The Government National Voucher scheme will come into force from the 20th April and will run during term time, until further notice. The 1590 Trust is supporting this scheme but is not responsible for or able to influence, how it operates. The guidance provided here is correct as at 1st April but could change.
The scheme is open to those families who qualify for a free school meal but does not cover the Universal Infant Free School meals, normally operated in primary school infants. Those using the Universal Infant Free School meals may be eligible for a free school meal under this scheme, if they met the criteria, see below for how to check.
Each school already has a list of those previously registered as eligible and will be contacting them shortly. If your circumstances have changed and you feel you are now eligible please see the section and link below.
What is the eligibility criteria for free school meals?
The eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found on apply for free school meals. (https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals )
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- 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 guaranteed 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 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get).
New applications for free school meals
If your circumstances have changed and you feel you may now be eligible please use the links here:
Log on to the Citizens Portal (Stockton Council) or use this link:
If your child is eligible/not eligible you will receive an instant notification informing you of the decision. For eligible cases free school meals will be awarded from the day following receipt of your application.
Accessing the Vouchers (from the 20th April)
The school will e mail on a weekly basis those families who are eligible, a redemption eCode. Instructions on how to use this eCode to create an eGift card, will also be provided, but may take up to 3 hours to receive. This will give you a voucher for £15 per child. It is vital that the school has been provided with a working e mail address to get the voucher to you quickly and safely.
If you do not have a working e mail, the school will make alternative arrangements for you to access a paper voucher and will contact you. This will involve calling into school with a form of identification and collecting the vouchers in person.
The following supermarkets are involved in the scheme (as at 1st April) – ASDA, Morrison, Sainsbury, Tesco and Marks & Spencers. Others may be added in future. You may need to nominate the supermarket you wish to use when downloading the e Gift Card.
Once families have received their voucher, they will be able to redeem them in-store at the selected retailer by either:
- presenting the voucher on a smartphone or tablet
- presenting a paper copy of the voucher
Families are free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. The vouchers cannot be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.
Fraud / Scams
We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.
We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.
The eGift card / vouchers will be provided strictly for the purpose of feeding the children and families of those eligible for free school meals, in this time of national crisis. Any malicious or fraudulent misuse of the scheme may be referred to the Police.
Please check we have your up-to-date e mail address
Check your eligibility for FSM straight away
Look out for further information from the school
Edenred and DfE’s FAQ’s
Free school meals
Compliments Select Parent and Carer FAQs
1. What’s the difference between an eCode and an
eCode – this is the 16 digit code which will be sent to you if you receive an email from your school
administrator. You’ll need this code to access www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk and choose your
supermarket eGift card. You cannot use the eCode directly with the retailer, it must be exchanged
for an eGift card.
eGift card – each supermarket has their own eGift card. To order your eGift, redeem your eCode
at www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk. The eGift card will be sent to the email address entered during
check-out and can be spent instore at the chosen supermarket. Your school may select your eGift
card for you and either print it and post it to you, or arrange for you to collect it.
2. How do I use my eCode to select a supermarket
We recommend ordering your supermarket eGift at home before going to the store.
To select your supermarket eGift card, follow the steps below:
1. Copy eCode from your email
2. Go to www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk
3. Enter the 16 digit eCode (you can enter more than one eCode if you have more than one to
4. Select a supermarket
5. Enter the amount and add to basket
6. Checkout and enter the email address you would like the eGift card sent to
7. Your eGift card will be processed and sent (please allow up to 3 hours for it to be delivered to
3. What supermarkets can I pick from?
The below supermarkets are available:
• Waitrose (John Lewis)
• M&S food
4. How do I know what the value of the eCode is?
This is stated in the email sent to you by the school.
5. Do I have to use the full value of the eCode when
choosing my eGift card(s)?
Yes – your balance will be visible on the webpage.
6. Can I choose to redeem my eCode at more than one
You can mix and match different supermarket retailers within the same order, provided the total
value you’ve chosen for each is equal to total value of the eCode you’ve entered. For example, with
a £10 eCode, you could choose £5 for Tesco and £5 for Sainsbury’s.
Simply enter the value you would like to order on each supermarket eGift card and your balance
will update so you know how much you have left.
Please note that the full value of the eCode needs to be redeemed in one transaction, you cannot
redeem a partial value of the code and save the rest for later.
Most supermarkets accept multiples of £1 or 1p per eGift card, however some other supermarkets
have larger fixed amounts that can be ordered, e.g £10.
7. How long do I have to redeem the eCode?
Your eCode will expire after 1 month.
8. What happens if my eCode has expired?
The eCode is cancelled and the money associated is then returned to the Department for
9. What can I purchase in-store with the eGift card?
The eGift card is issued to you in respect of the free school meal benefit and will only be accepted
in store for the purchase of food and groceries.
10. How do I know what the value of the eGift card is?
The value will be present on the eGift card itself.
11.How do I use a supermarket eGift card?
A supermarket eGift card is a digital voucher. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode
which can be presented at the till in-store either on a smartphone screen or printed on a piece of
paper, just like a gift card.
Some eGift cards can be used to purchase online. Please see Q13.
12. How long does the supermarket eGift card last for?
Please see the table below:
Sainsbury’s 24 months from last transaction
Tesco 5 years from last transaction
Asda 24 months from last transaction
Morrisons 12 months expiry
Waitrose (John Lewis) 24 months from last transaction
M&S food 24 months from last transaction
For more T&Cs, please refer to the supermarket’s website.
13. Can the vouchers be used in-store and online?
Please see the table below:
Supermarket In-store Online
Sainsbury’s Yes No
Tesco Yes No
Asda Yes Yes
Morrisons Yes No
Waitrose (John Lewis) Yes Yes
M&S food Yes No
For more T&C’s, please refer to the supermarket’s website.
14. My school has ordered an eCode for me, but it hasn’t
come through to my email?
Firstly, check your junk mail.
If it still hasn’t arrived within 3 hours, please contact your school to ensure that they have your
correct email address. If necessary, the school administrator can cancel the previously sent
eCode and resend to your correct email address. If this still doesn’t work, your school can contact
15. I have ordered an eGift card, but it hasn’t come through to
Firstly, check your junk mail folder and trash.
You will receive two emails – one will be a confirmation or your order and the other will be the
eGift card itself. If your order confirmation email has arrived, then your eGift card is in a queue
and is on its way. If you’ve received neither emails, it is possible that you have entered your
email address incorrectly at checkout. If you think this may be the case, please contact
16. What happens if I have a smartphone but no data when
I’m at the supermarket?
We suggest ordering your eGift card at home when connected to WIFI before you go to the
supermarket. Take a screenshot of the eGift card barcode before going to the supermarket as this
should still scan ok in-store.
17. I’m not able to get to the supermarket.
You can forward the supermarket eGift card to someone else to purchase goods on your behalf if
you’re not able to get to the supermarket. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which
can be presented at the till in-store, just like a gift card.
18. How often will I receive the supermarket voucher?
The school will have flexibility in how often they send you an eCode or an eGift card. The eCode
can be redeemed for a supermarket eGift card within 1 month. The eGift cards have different expiry
dates – please see Q12 for further details.
19. I have more than one child, will I receive multiple eCodes?
This will be at the discretion of your school who may issue an eCode for each of your children or,
alternatively, may send one eCode to you, for the total value of your children’s free school meal
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible for free school meals from September 2014. All children are given the option of choosing milk as a drink at lunchtimes.
School Dinners cost £2.05 a day for children.
Children in Nursery and Reception are given milk during the school day, free of charge, up to their 5th birthday. Following their child’s 5th birthday parents can pay for milk to be provided in class up to Year 2.
We are very proud of our School Kitchen which serves fantastic meals. It is so good that most of our children (86%) choose to have a school meal.
Please find below a copy of our school menus from January to April 2019.
Week 1 – Menus – Jan – March 19
Week 2 – Menus – Jan – March 19
Week 3 – Menus – Jan – March 19
Week 4 – Menus – Jan – March 19
Please find below a copy of our school menus from April to July 2019.
Week 1 – Menus – April – July 19
Week 2 – Menus – April – July 19
Week 3 – Menus – April – July 19
Week 4 – Menus – April – July 19
If you have any questions about the school meals, Claire our cook is very happy to speak to you.