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Changes announced to two-year-old eligibility, free school meals and EYPP


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Following the consultation "Eligibility for free school meals, the early years pupil premium and the free early education entitlement for two-year-olds under Universal Credit" the government have released their response. The proposals that they are taking forward include: 

  • introducing a net earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum for free school meals eligibility under Universal Credit, to take effect from 1 April 2018. A typical family earning around £7,400 per annum would, depending on their exact circumstances, have a total household income of between £18,000 and £24,000 once benefits are taken into account
  • 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
  • introducing a net earnings threshold of £15,400 per annum under Universal Credit for eligibility for the 15-hour free early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds, to take effect from 1 April 2018

Any household earning below these thresholds and claiming Universal Credit will be eligible to claim these benefits for their children.

The policy will protect every child in receipt of free school meals at the point at which the threshold is introduced, and every child who gains eligibility before the end of the rollout of Universal Credit, until Universal Credit is fully rolled out. Following this, protected children still in school will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their phase of education (for example primary or secondary school). No child who has started their two-year-old early education place will lose it as a result of this new proposal.

You can read the document in full here and the DfE press release here

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