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To think that this is wrong and on par with benefit fraud?

(105 Posts)
littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 20:59:01

School that my child goes to has asked in the newsletter that every parent who is entitled to free school meals applys, even if they don't need it or they continue to bring sandwiches, because the school will receive a large sum of money each year.

I think that this is totally wrong, and the school shouldn't be profitting in this way. The money is supposed to be there to ensure that children living on the poverty line get a meal. And if the parents don't want or need it then the money should go back into the pot for something else.

Woozley Fri 12-Oct-12 21:01:49

Eh? Presumably the school just gets paid the amount for the number of free school meals. Sounds like they are making sure that everyone who can, claims and doesn't miss out.

MrsMiniversCharlady Fri 12-Oct-12 21:03:12

I think it's related to the 'pupil premium' whereby schools get extra money for 'disadvantaged' children to increase the resources available to give them extra help if they need it. Claiming free school meals is what allows the school to claim the pupil premium.

Unless the teachers are using the money to buy themselves 50" flatscreen tvs, I hardly think it's on a par with benefit fraud.

littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 21:03:33

No they specifically asked people to claim, even if they continue to bring sandwiches, because the school will get lots of money.

ThreeWheelsGood Fri 12-Oct-12 21:03:34

Everyone who is entitled should apply, on principle. YABU.

MrsMiniversCharlady Fri 12-Oct-12 21:04:58

They're not claiming to get the money for meals that aren't eaten I don't think. It's a bit crazy to bring sandwiches when you are entitled to fsm anyway.

littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 21:07:15

What so just because you can get something free you should, even if you do not need it?

I was in income support a few years ago just for a couple of months, I could have claimed healthy start vouchers, I didn't though because I didn't need them. I also didn't claim the maternity £500 grant because again, I didn't need it as had my own savings. I thought benefits were only the for is you really needed them.

PandaNot Fri 12-Oct-12 21:09:42

They aren't claiming the money for the meals. They need to have an accurate measure of how many children are entitled to fsm because the pupil premium is based on this. Unless everyone who is eligible applies they won't get the right amount of money in their budget for teachers wages!

RuleBritannia Fri 12-Oct-12 21:09:49

Yes, everyone who is entitled to a free school meal should apply but should then eat it. If parents send their children with sandwiches, they do not need the free school meal.

If a free school meal is claimed, the school should ensure that those children use the facility.

I used to work at a school and the EMAS cheque (is that right? The cheque to encourage pupils to stay at school after 16) cheque would come to the school addressed to the girl c/o the school. The cheque went to the Accounts Department where the girls' attendance records were kept. One of the conditions of receiving this 'grant' is a good attendance record. If the girl did not attend school as expected, she did not receive the cheque.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 21:10:11

If you don't want to claim what you are able to then good for you.

I did claim the healthy start when it was 250. I've paid my taxes for my whole life and I was glad of it.

Is this a benefit thread in bloody disguise?

littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 21:10:33

This is what the newsletter says.

There are children who are entitled to free school meals but parents are not taking this entitlement up as their children have sandwiches and not school dinners. By registering for this entitlement, even if parents choose to send their child to school with sandwiches and not take up the free school dinners, the school receives approx £600 per pupil. This is expected to rise to between £800 and £900 in future years.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 21:11:43

The pupils still fit the criteria for disadvantage. Wether they eat a sandwich or not.

Rooble Fri 12-Oct-12 21:13:15

The school will be disadvantaged if children who are not entitled do not apply. The money they get is NOT for food, but for educational support targeted at the poorest children. The new Pupil Premium assesses children's need for additional funding on the basis of financial disadvantage; the easiest way to work out which children are financially disadvantaged is to find out which ones have FSM.
There are billions of pounds set aside for such disadvantaged children, but if that money isn't "claimed" (by identifying yourself as eligible for FSM), the school won't get it. This will be to the detriment of everyone in the school.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 21:14:26

What rooble said.

littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 21:15:00

No it's not a benefit thread. But I don't understand why the school should claim money for food that's not being eaten.

It's nothing to do with the family who is entitled, that's their choice whether to use the meal or make a sandwich, it's the fact that the school will be getting money under false pretenses, surely the money is there so that the kids have a dinner? If they're not then the school doesn't need the money right?

Adversecamber Fri 12-Oct-12 21:15:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 21:15:17

But are they entitled to other things as well as the free school meals, and if so are they linked.

So a parent might not want free school meals for a child, but might want to get subsidised or free school trips, or swimming lessons or whatever. And if they are not on the free school meal list, they will miss out on the other benefits which they might need?

The extra money they can claim per child is used to provide extra educational needs for children who come from less advantaged backgrounds, who may need more support in school.

littleplasticinedinosaur Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:21

Ok I did not know that rooble the way I read it I thought that they were basically asking to claim money for the food.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:32

Read the answers it's not for food !!!

AnnaLiza Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:33

OP I agree it sounds a bit dodgy. They probably get some sort of extra funding based on number of disadvantaged children but I still think it's a bit cheeky to ask in these terms.
However YABU for not closing Sure start maternity grant while pregnant and on Income Support. It beggars belief that you chose not to receive the money and used up your savings instead...

vj32 Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:36

littleplasticinedinosaur - its nothing to do with school dinners themselves, as lots of people have said, its the pupil premium. It has nothing to do with food!

nkf Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:41

It's not fraud. The extra money brought isn't to finance the lunches. It's because household income is a clear indicator of possible difficulties in education. I think everyone should claim even if they do send in packed lunches.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 21:16:41

X post.

Autumnalis Fri 12-Oct-12 21:17:30

The grant is not just for fsm. I pay £2 a day, £10 a week for my kids for school lunches. That's LESS than £600 for the year. So the difference must go towards something else.

Why are you fighting this? Aren't there enough cuts without the poor (lije you, as you descrubed yourself) hitting at the poor?

notnowImreading Fri 12-Oct-12 21:18:05

It's not about the free food; it's because claiming the FSM attracts the pupil premium funding - and that's important because there is such a significant correlation between relative poverty and academic underachievement. If a pupil lives under circumstances that would entitle them to FSM, they should get the benefit of the extra support in school that might make up for any disadvantage they suffer in other areas of their lives. Most schools also find ways to share the benefit of the money more widely. It is a Good Thing.

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