Students eligible for Free School Meals

If  you wish to apply for Free School Meals Vouchers  please contact us by emailing fsm@merciantrust.org with your child’s first name, last name and school they attend

Update 3 April 2020

The government have now setup a national scheme for issuing supermarket vouchers for those in receipt of Free School Meals. This scheme supersedes the method that the Trust previously used to distribute supermarket vouchers, and going forward will be the only method to receive vouchers.

If you do not currently have an email address you can sign up to one from Google, Microsoft or any other free email provider. If needed please visit either of these links to setup an email account https://accounts.google.com/signup or https://outlook.live.com/owa/

If you have more than one child who receives Free School Meals please submit a form for each of them. (You can utilise the same email address for all children).

The form needs to be completed by 12pm on Wednesday 8th April and vouchers will be issued during week commencing 20th April.

If  your circumstances have changed over the coming weeks please contact us by emailing fsm@merciantrust.org with your child’s first name, last name and school they attend

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From Monday 30th March, parents/carers whose children are eligible for Free School Meals from Mercian Trust Schools will receive supermarket vouchers.

These will be to the value of £2.35, per child, per day, for an initial seven day period.

Eligible parents will receive a text from a company called Wonde with further details of how to register. You will also be asked to select the supermarket of your choice.

If you have not received your information by Tuesday 31st March, please contact us at fsm@merciantrust.org

Who is entitled to vouchers?

All students currently entitled to Free School Meals at Mercian Trust Schools will receive a voucher.

How will I receive my vouchers?

You will receive a text message or email to the Priority 1 contact details we currently hold for you in school. If your details are not up to date you will need to contact us to update.

When do the vouchers expire?

Depending on the supermarket, vouchers expire between 12 months and five years after they’re issued to your school. Vouchers are intended to be spent on food within a very short window (i.e. days/weeks).

What happens if the parent doesn’t use the voucher?

The voucher retains its value until it’s expiration, however, parents are expected to use these vouchers within a very short window (i.e. days/weeks).

What supermarkets are available through this scheme?

Currently, the supermarkets able to work with vouchers sent directly to parents (i.e. text message and/or email) are as follows:

  •  ASDA
  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Sainsburys

Who can I contact if I have any queries?

Please contact fsm@merciantrust.org  – this will ensure that your query is answered promptly by a member of Mercian Trust staff.

My child does not receive Free School Meals but I think they should be entitled to them, what do I do?

We would like to reach out particularly to parents who may have found their circumstances changed in recent weeks, and therefore may have children who qualify for Free School Meals, even if only temporarily.  We have included below information regarding the eligibility criteria for free school meals and the online claim form can be found using the following links to websites:

https://go.walsall.gov.uk/free_school_meals

https://go.walsall.gov.uk/forms/Application-for-Free-School-Meals

To qualify you must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • be in receipt of income support/income based job seekers allowance or income related employment and support allowance
  • be entitled to child tax credit but NOT receiving working tax credit and your annual income must be below the threshold set by the government
  • be receiving support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • be in receipt of the guarantee credit element of pension credit
  • be entitled to the 4 week run on of working tax credit due to employment ending

If you apply and qualify, the council will write to you and to us at school so we can put arrangements in place for your child using the existing voucher scheme that is currently being used by the Trust.  Additional information will be sent out regarding the voucher process upon successfully meeting the eligibility criteria.

Should you require further assistance or clarification with regards to how to apply please email us at fsm@merciantrust.org.

Should you find that you are not eligible for free school meals Walsall MBC are working closely with a number of partner organisations in order to provide support to families. You can contact Making Connections by emailing:  COVID19communityhelp@walsall.gov.uk or by calling 0121 380 6690.  They will allocate your case to one of the four locality hubs who will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs. They will also be able to provide practical help with things such as shopping, picking up prescriptions or financial advice.  Please use this facility if you find yourself in need.

Potential Scam

We have also been made aware that some parents of other local schools have received a text message allegedly from the DfE asking for bank details, this is a scam, please do not reply to such messages.
In the event that we require bank details from parents we will initially email you with an explanation of the reason they are required.  On the email there will be a named contact  we will then ask you to call the main school number, ask for the contact and then to pass over the details to a designated Trust employee.

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