Are my children eligible for benefits-related free school meals?
A child may be able to get free school meals if a parent/carer gets any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
Young people who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
My child is on universal free school meals, does this mean that they can come on the FUEL programme?
All young people who attend primary school are entitled to universal free school meals. However only young people who are receiving benefit related free school meals are able to attend the FUEL programme.
My child has a special educational need or disability, does this mean they can't attend the FUEL programme?
All FUEL clubs are able to offer support to eligible young people (those accessing benefit related free school meals) with SEND.
Our providers work very hard to make sure that their clubs are inclusive to all. We recommend that you highlight your or your child's needs as fully and accurately as possible when you contact your chosen FUEL club to book a space. The provider will then discuss how best they can support you or your child.
With this in mind you are able to book onto any clubs running in Kingston and Richmond
In addition to our full listings some FUEL clubs offer SEND specific sessions or have additional staff and training within their settings so they can offer higher levels of support to young people with more complex additional needs. These are detailed on the SEND clubs page.
Do I have to pay for the programme?
No. The programme is funded by the Department for Education and so it is free for your child to attend.
I've made a booking just in case we have nothing else to do during the holidays, but my child probably won't use it.
Because it's free, it doesn't matter if I don't cancel, does it?
No! It absolutely does matter. If you book a place and then your child is unable to attend but you do not cancel it, you are preventing another child from attending that place and being given the opportunity to take part in the activities and meal that is offered.
Please cancel any bookings which you know you can no longer use and do not book any activities as a “backup”, simply because they are free.
What about if we can't make it on the day?
If your child is ill and cannot come to a club, please email or telephone the club as soon as possible to let them know. If your child does not arrive when they are expected to, our providers will telephone you to check your child is okay. If a child does not attend for two days in a row and our provider cannot get in touch with you to find out why, they will cancel your child’s booking for the rest of the week and offer their place to someone else.
Do I need to give my child food when they attend the FUEL programme?
No, you don’t! Each child who attends the FUEL programme will be given a healthy and filling meal. Most of the time this will be hot food but on certain occasions, such as trips, this will be a cold meal. Please do not send in a packed lunch for your child as we want to encourage all children to try new and different foods and all eat the same meal.
I am worried that my child won't want to eat the meal which the club provides
We know that some children are very particular about the food which they will and won’t eat. However, what we often find is that when children see others eating the meal provided, they will often sit down and try the same food. We recommend that your child is encouraged to try the food at the camp. If you are worried about this at all, please speak to a member of staff at the camp which you have booked onto.
My child has a food allergy or additional need which means that their diet is restricted.
Can I send them in with a packed lunch?
In such circumstances, yes, this is absolutely fine. Please ensure that such needs are clearly highlighted on your child’s booking form and also flag this with a member of staff during drop off on the first day.
I want information on which services within the community I can access, what should I do?
Please speak to a member of staff at the club. Part of the role of FUEL providers is to support families in making them aware of what additional support they can get. Whether this be access to food bank vouchers or a referral for some more support from Children’s Services, staff are there to help you so please, just ask, you can also check our useful resources page.
I still have questions, who can I contact?
Please email any questions to email@example.com and we will get back to you.