Children’s Society welcomes Free School Meals boost for NRPF families

Azmina Siddique, Policy and Impact Manager, at The Children’s Society said: “We warmly welcome this announcement, which will mean that children from many low-income migrant families with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) will permanently receive Free School Meals.

“We have been campaigning hard for this and understand what a vital lifeline it has been for many families throughout the pandemic.

“We know from our work at The Children’s Society that low-income families with NRPF, who miss out on benefits like Universal Credit, often struggle to make ends meet.

“Many of these parents are single mums, who are in low-paid jobs and on zero-hours contracts. They work hard and pay taxes like everyone else, but can’t afford the essentials without a safety net to fall back on. This can harm their children’s health, well-being and life chances.

“With the cost of living crisis looming and families facing impossible choices between basics like heating and eating, this extension will take some pressure off hard-working families.

“While, this announcement is an important step in the right direction, the eligibility threshold for families outside London has dropped by several thousands of pounds.

“We are therefore worried that some families subject to NRPF who have been receiving Free School Meals could now miss out. We would welcome clarification from the Department for Education about this change to eligibility thresholds and also about whether undocumented families will benefit from these broader changes.”