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Free School Meals & Pupil Premium

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Free School Meals

From 6 April 2010, children whose parents receive ONE or more of the following benefits will be entitled to receive free school meals (FSM):

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (this benefit was introduced 27th October 2008)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income that does not exceed £16190 (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs)
    Note: from 1 May 2009 where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school lunches.
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

If you are in receipt of any of the above benefits, please complete the application form below. You can also contact the Free School Meals section of Brighton and Hove Council on or 01273 293497.

Current Free School Meal allowance is £2.20. Even if you intend to send your child to school with a packed lunch, you should apply for free school meals if you are eligible for them. This is because being registered for FSM will allow your child to claim additional financial support for other schemes that may become available from time to time.

If your child is entitled to free school meals, it is very important that you claim it – even if you do not intend to use it. Under new government regulations, free school meals will be used as the basis for a range of other funds that can be targeted to help your child individually.

Children losing their FSM dinner card will be issued with a new one the canteen help desk. The first replacement card is free but after that, there is a charge of £3.50 for each replacement card.

You can download a copy of the application form or apply online.

Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers.  Secondary schools receive £935 for each eligible student.

Each school must publish a strategy for the school’s use of the Pupil Premium. 

For the current academic year, schools must include:

  • the Pupil Premium grant allocation amount
  • a summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school
  • how we will spend the Pupil Premium to address those barriers and the reasons for that approach
  • how we will measure the impact of the Pupil Premium
  • the date of the next review of the school’s Pupil Premium strategy

For the previous academic year, we must include:

  • how we spent the Pupil Premium allocation
  • the impact of the expenditure on eligible and other pupils

Please see our Varndean School Pupil Premium Strategy 2018-2019 for details.

Varndean School Year 7 Catch-up Funding 

Catch up funding is allocated by the government for each Year 7 pupil who has not achieved level 4 in reading and/or mathematics at Key Stage 2 before they joined Varndean School.

We received an additional premium of £500 for each Year 7 pupil who did not achieve at least level 4 in reading and/or mathematics at Key Stage 2.

In 2015-16, Varndean School received additional funding of £19688:

How we spent 2015-16’s allocation:

  • Maths delivered in a primary model in order to support learning in a smaller group and a nurturing environment.

  • Additional Teaching Assistant support.

  • Targeted mentoring.

  • Google chromebooks for all pupil premium students in Year 7 students to use at home.  

  • Chromebooks for selected students to use in school.

  • Priority access to the first generation scholar and IntoUniversity schemes to include a tailor made package to increase aspiration.

The effect that this expenditure had on the attainment of the pupils for whom it was allocated 2015-16:


24 students entered on Level 3 or below, of which 22 (92%) made at least 2 sub-levels of progress during year 7.  16 students (66%) made one full level of progress or more.


17 students entered on level 3 or below, all made at least two sub-levels of progress after one year  (100%) and 16 students (94%) made one full level of progress or more.

In 2016-17, Varndean School are estimated to receive £15,500.  

We intend to spend this allocation on the following interventions:

  • Phonics reading interventions.

  • Numeracy small group intervention.

  • Every Child a Reader Programme.

  • Additional Teaching Assistant Support.

  • Provision of Chromebooks to use in school and continued roll out of our chromebook lease scheme.