Consultation on free school meals and uniform grants eligibility criteria

Posted by
Thursday, April 20th, 2017
walktoschoolThe Department of Education has launched a public consultation on proposed changes to eligibility criteria for free school meals and uniform grants. The changes are necessary due to the roll out of Universal Credit across Northern Ireland which begins in September 2017 and will be phased in over a number of years.
  The Department’s primary aim of the proposed changes is to ensure that those most in need can continue to access free school meals and uniform grants following the introduction of Universal Credit.
Article continues below:
25th March 2017The objectives are that the new criteria should: enable children from those families most in need to benefit; have due regard for equality of opportunity; be clear and easily understood by the public; be affordable within the available resources and likely to be sustainable in future years; and be cost-effective to administer and should facilitate the collection/use of data.
  The Department plans to add the receipt of Universal Credit with a net earnings threshold of £14,000 by a parent/guardian or pupil to the existing eligibility criteria to provide free school meals and uniform grants. It is intended that this new criterion should approximately maintain the numbers of pupils entitled as those under the existing criteria. This new criterion will eventually replace five existing welfare benefit based criteria.
  The five benefits will be phased out and replaced by Universal Credit by March 2022 and it is therefore intended that the revised criteria for free school meals and uniform grants will be introduced on a phased basis from the point when individual families are transferred on to Universal Credit. You can access the consultation on the Department’s website at:
  An easy-read version of the consultation document and a response sheet are also provided.
Article continues below:
25th March 2017 Box AdvertThe consultation will close at 5.00pm on Monday 5th June 2017.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in