Free School Meals / Uniform Grants

The Education Authority (EA) for Northern Ireland is responsible for assessing eligibility for Free School Meals based on Department of Education (DE) / Department for the Economy (DfE) criteria.

Free School Meals Update

Nursery and Primary 1 to Primary 3

Nursery and Primary 1 to Primary 3 pupils will return to school on 8 March. Between 8 March and 19 March pupils within this group who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive a meal in school but will NOT receive a free school payment.

For pupils who cannot attend school for medical reasons and who are entitled to free school meals, parents/ guardians should contact their school principal regarding food parcel entitlement.

From 22 March to 26 March online/ blended learning will return and a one week food payment will be made to families of pupils who are entitled to free school meal.

Primary 4 to Primary 7

For primary 4 to primary 7 pupils online/blended learning will continue from 8 March to 26 March and pupils entitled to a free school meal will continue to receive a payment.

Post Primary

Years 12-14 will return on 22 March for one week. Those pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive direct payment up to March 19. From 22 March to 26 March catering service will be available for years 12-14. Payment will continue for years 8-11 for pupils entitled to free school meals from 22 March to 26 March.

Special Schools and EOTAS

Special schools and EOTAS continue to remain open and pupils entitled to receive free school meal will receive a meal in school. For pupils of special schools and EOTAS who cannot attend school for medical reasons, parents/ guardians should contact the EA helpdesk, 02838 368186, to order their food parcels.

Vulnerable children and children of key workers

Any pupil attending school, including vulnerable children and children of key workers, may purchase a meal from the school meals service as normal or they can bring a packed lunch.

Payments

Any payments to be made for period 8 March to 26 March will be paid into nominated bank accounts on 18 March. If we do not have your nominated bank account a cheque will be posted on 16 March.

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Last updated: 05/03/2021