Free College Meals

A member of catering staff serving students in the canteen
A free school meal is available to all eligible students each day the student attends their study programme, where this is appropriate.

Free school meals are available to students who are enrolled at Aquinas College and are aged between 16 or over but under 19 on 31st August 2021.

Students aged 19 or over are only eligible to receive a free meal if they are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16-18 or have an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
To be eligible for free school meals in further education, the student must be in receipt of, or living with parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

Qualifying Benefits

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

A student is only eligible for a free school meal when a successful application has been made by submitting the bursary application form 2021-22 and being in receipt of the qualifying benefits.

Transitional protection

During the transition to Universal Credit a student who has been in receipt of free school meals at or after 1st April 2018 will continue to receive free meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. A copy of your letter showing the students entitlement to free school meals must be uploaded with your bursary application form. Transitional protection is on an individual child basis.

Students who make a first application in the 2021-22 academic year and who have a household income above the threshold will not be eligible for free school meals.

Free School Meal Entitlement

This entitles the student to £2:60 towards a meal each day they are in college for lessons. This can be spent in the canteen at the main counter or the deli bar for breakfast or lunch, it is not available to spend at the coffee shop. It must be used in one transaction.

How to access your free school meal in the college canteen

Proof of eligibility for free school meals is made by the student logging in to MyAquinas then go to my details/free meals, this will take the student to a screen which shows their eligibility. The canteen staff will ask to see this screen to authorise payment for the school meal. We encourage students to choose a healthy option for their meal.