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Local Authorities play a crucial role in increasing free school meals (FSM) registration. You should ensure that your communications explain the link between FSM eligibility and the amount of Pupil Premium1 funding a school can receive. You should also make the process for registering for eligibility for and applying for FSM as easy as possible. Action you could take now includes:
You could also consider:
Local authorities should also encourage schools to urge parents to register their child as eligible for FSM and support schools in doing so. In particular, local authorities should remind schools that their Pupil Premium allocation each year is determined by the number of FSM pupils they have on roll on January census day. You can help this process by reminding schools of the last day by which applications can be submitted to give the local authority time to check eligibility and inform the school before 19 January 2012 – census day.
If you provide information to your schools about pupils registered as eligible for FSM, you should make clear if this is based only on parents who have registered on the basis that they want their child to have a free school meal. Schools need to be aware that this information does not necessarily include all their eligible pupils.
1Children who have been looked after continuously for six months also attract the Pupil Premium.
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