Free College Meals

A member of catering staff serving students in the canteen
Free school meals are available to Aquinas College students who are aged between 16 and 18 on 31st August 2020, enrolled at Aquinas College and meet the eligibility criteria.

A student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31 August 2020 to be eligible to receive a free school meal.

Students aged over 19 who are continuing on the same study programme (19+continuers) they started before they turned 19, or who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) are eligible for a free school meal where they meet the criteria.

Eligible students are entitled to a free school meal for each day the student attends their study programme.

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:

  • 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 (after tax and not including any benefits you may receive)

In order for a student to access the free school meals, a bursary application form and the self-employment universal credit declaration form (where applicable) must be completed and submitted. The bursary application form is available on the Aquinas website.

Once the student is accepted onto the free school meals register, they are entitled to £2:60 towards their meal each day they are in college to attend their study programme. The school meal entitlement, of £2:60, can be spent in the college canteen at the main counter or the deli bar, it is not available to spend in the coffee shop. It must be used in one transaction and payment is made by the student scanning their thumb at the till. Students are encouraged to use the free school meals allowance to purchase a healthy option for their meal.