Free school meals threshold to hit Pupil Premium funding

As estimated one million pupils will miss out on Pupil Premium funding after changes to the Universal Credit system to introduce a threshold for free school meal eligibility get the go-ahead

Secondary schools are set to miss out on millions of pounds in additional Pupil Premium funding after the government passed reforms that will mean around one million children will become ineligible for free school meals (FSM).

As Universal Credit – the government’s much-maligned reform of how benefit payments are received by claimants – has been rolling out, all families in receipt of the new benefit have been automatically entitled to FSMs.

However, changes to the system will introduce an income threshold, meaning that families with net earnings of more than £7,400 will no longer be eligible for FSM.

Estimates by the Children’s Society suggest that about one million children living in poverty in England will miss out on FSM as a result.

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