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Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire Free School Meals Eligibility Checking Service


How we can help you

It takes a lot of time for parents, schools and colleges to show free school meals eligibility using paper proof of benefits. We can make that much easier with:

  • full end to end eligibility checking service  - we do it all for you! 
  • batch eligibility check only (an annual check of students eligible for a free school meal).


Full end to end eligibility checking service

Checking who is eligible for a free school meal and completing the school census on time is vital to school /college financing. 

There's a lot of work to be done, even in a straightforward application, including:

  • confirming eligibility for every free school meal applicant
  • checking all applicants’ eligibility throughout the year
  • responding to queries around eligibility and change of circumstances 
  • staying up to date with legislation around free school meals and the qualifying benefits
  • identify free school meals and pupil premium for the schools’ census.


Why use the full end to end eligibility checking service?

The service ensures any children eligible for a free school meal are captured and protected throughout the academic year. No limit on free school meal eligibility checks for new applicants. Once transitional protection is lifted in 2025, regular audits will be carried out to check pupils’ eligibility. 

We also provide you with:

  • a real opportunity to increase pupil premium claims for your school / college
  • end to end processing of FSM applications
  • proof of benefits checks using the Eligibility Checking Service (ECS) 
  • system access where you can view your school's FSM report
  • a live notification of new applications including both new and no longer entitled children
  • a dedicated customer service team to assist with queries from parents and schools
  • a  follow up service where paper proof of benefits is needed in cases where eligibility can't be instantly confirmed.


Batch eligibility checks only 

This service is designed for school/colleges who do not require full support with eligibility checking, however, would like to save some time and benefit from identifying pupil premium claims easier. 

We provide you with: 

  • a batch checking service which includes the checking of pupil free school meals
  • information/report of eligible pupils via encrypted files twice a year.

The batch eligibility checks only service is available to colleges (in/out of Herts) and schools outside of Hertfordshire.

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