Register your child for free school meals, parents urged

Pupils enjoy their free school meals
Pupils enjoy their free school meals
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Parents are being encouraged to claim their child’s free school lunches and help their child’s school claim important funding from central government.

Since September last year, all children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 in Hertfordshire have been entitled to free school meals.

Herts County Council is asking all parents and carers who have a child in any of these school years to officially claim their free meals, using a simple online form.

Once people have registered, individual schools are able to claim back a certain amount of money from central government for qualifying applicants.

This covers the costs, not only of the meals, but also of other educational resources such as books, IT equipment and even school trips – so registering could raise money for your child’s school.

Herts County Council is asking for information about parents and their children, so schools can make sure they’re receiving all the government funding they are entitled to.

Since the online registration form went live on 21 July this year, more than 2,500 parents have registered their children for their free school meals.

So far, Hertfordshire schools have claimed about £3,900,000 worth of funding back from the government in relation to nearly 1,000 qualifying applicants.

Hertfordshire County Council wants parents to help every school across the county claim the funds they are entitled, by registering online.

David Williams, cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills, said: “School meals are nutritionally balanced and great fuel for healthy minds and bodies.

“I’d urge parents and carers to take up the offer of a free school meal and also register their child online today so their school can claim the funds available to them from central government.”

A spokesman said: “Please register your child today. It’s quick, easy and will ensure your school receives the funding it is entitled.”

The registration form is now live and ready for parents to register at www.hertsdirect.org/freeschoolmeals