Eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under universal credit
The LITRG do not believe that the proposals in this consultation meet the 'fair, consistent and simple to deliver' criteria that are aimed for and in fact, if the proposal for a single net earnings threshold proceeds, will bring about unfairness, inconsistency and complexity. In particular, there is a real risk that one of the key principles of universal credit, that work always pays, will be undermined. We therefore think that the current arrangements should continue so that all children living with universal credit recipients are entitled to free school meals.
While we welcome the fact that the new criteria will mean 50,000 more pupils are eligible for free school meals, we are concerned that neither the consultation documents nor the equality impact assessment break this down by explaining where the gain comes from, how many people will lose out compared to the current rules and what are the characteristics of those people who lose out will have.
Our response can be found here: Eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under universal credit – LITRG response