West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Apply for school meals/clothing grants before summer holidays-Boyle

Published: 19 June, 2014

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle is encouraging parents to ensure free school meals/school uniform/PE clothing grant renewal and fresh application forms are returned to the WELB as soon as possible to ensure that no eligible child looses out or has their application unduly delayed as we move into the new term in September. She said,
"Sinn Féin Education Minister John O Dowd has been progressively working to ensure that more and more low income and low income working familes become eligible for free school meals and uniform/PE clothing grants the costs of which represent such a major financial burden and particularly upon families with more than one child at school.
"I would encourage parents to ensure that the Renewal Forms have been issued by the WELB are returned before the start of the summer holidays to ensure that they are processed in time for the new term in September. There may also be families who are still unaware that their child/children are eligible for school meals/school uniform/PE clothing grant assistance so I would encourage everyone to be aware of the current eligibility criteria for the 2013/2014 school year namely if you are currently in receipt of:
• Income Support / Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance / Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, or if a pupil claims Income Support in their own name; or • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit; or • You are an Asylum Seeker supported by The Home Office National Asylum Support Service (NASS); or • Child Tax Credit and are not receiving Working Tax Credit and have an annual taxable income of £16,190 or less; or • Working Tax Credit and have an annual taxable Income of £16,190 or less. (This only applies to parents/guardians of pupils who attend full-time nursery schools born on or after 2 July 2009 and pupils who attend primary or special education schools born on or after 2 July 2002)
"Free School Meals can also be awarded if your child has a statement of special educational needs and is designated to require a special diet. However, the Clothing Scheme does not apply to pupils in attendance at Nursery Schools/Nursery Units/Reception Classes.
"In the 2014/15 school year, an additional 15,000 secondary level pupils will be able to avail of free school meals/uniform grants as a result Minister John O'Dowd's decision to extend the criteria currently governing primary school pupils to secondary school pupils as well. If you have any queries you should contact:
The Meals & Uniform Section, W.E.L.B., 1 Hospital Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone, BT79 0AW Tel. No. 028 8241 1496 Fax: 028 8241 1284 Textphone: 028 8241 1550 For customers who are deaf or hearing or speech impaired Email: benefits@welbni.org http://www.welbni.org under Services