Free School meals extended to thousands more children

In response to a letter sent by us on behalf of our client, the government has confirmed that thousands more children will receive free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free school meals are available to children whose families receive certain means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit. Some families with no recourse to public funds, or who rely on Home Office support under section 4 Immigration & Asylum Act 1999, were excluded from this despite having even less money than those who qualified. We wrote to the Department of Education to challenge that, and in response they have confirmed that free school meal provision will be extended to families:
– Reliant on section 4 support
– Granted leave to remain as ‘Zambrano carers’
– Granted leave to remain under Article 8 ECHR
– Supported under section 17 Children Act 1989 and who have ‘no recourse to public funds’.

The mechanism under which this will be done is currently unclear, and we will circulate further information as soon as it is available, but families in the above categories should not wait to apply to their local authority for free school meals.

Our client was represented by DPG partner Ugo Hayter.

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