21 November 2017
Consultation on passported benefits under Universal Credit
The Department for Education has launched a consultation about the eligibility for children currently receiving additional support from the government during their education, such as free school meals and additional school funding, in light of the national roll out of Universal Credit
The Minister for Children and Families, Robert Goodwill MP said ‘ We want every child to reach their potential, regardless of their background. As Universal Credit is rolled out, it is right that we continue to make sure this support reaches children from the most disadvantaged families. Our proposals should not only protect those children already receiving free school meals and additional school funding but will see thousands more benefitting from this support in future. This is an important issue and we need to get this right to make sure we continue to help those children most in need. That’s why it is vital that we hear from teachers, early years professionals and families throughout this consultation.
The proposals include:
- introducing a net income threshold of £7,400 per year before benefits are taken into account for families to benefit from free school meals
- mirroring this eligibility criteria for the Early Years Pupil Premium, which gives additional funding to early years settings to boost the attainment of pupils from low income families
- all children currently receiving any of the support above should continue to benefit from this until the full roll out of Universal Credit, and then until they reach the end of their current education stage (e.g. primary or secondary school
This consultation is about these entitlements in England only. (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have responsibility for establishing their own criteria for these entitlements).
The consultation is open until 11 January 2018 and the documents are available on the GOV.UK website