Getting Free School Meals During the Covid19 Crisis

Free School Meals

Coronavirus: information about help with food costs while schools are closed.

If your child qualifies and their school is in Manchester, you can Apply for free school meals

You’ll need to contact the school yourself if it isn’t listed.

If your child’s school is outside Manchester, their free school meals will be dealt with by the local authority the school is in. Go to the GOV.UK website and enter the postcode of the school your child attends to find out how to get them.

Which children qualify for them?

Your child may qualify if you have any of these incomes:

  •  Income Support
  •  income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  •  income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  •  the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
  •  Child Tax Credit (as long as your annual gross income is £16,190 or less and  you don’t get Working Tax Credit)
  •  Working Tax Credit run-off after you come off Working Tax Credit
  •  Universal Credit that you applied for on, or after, 1 April 2018. As long as your household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits

Children who receive these benefits themselves instead of through a parent or guardian, can also qualify for free school meals.

Your child may qualify if you are an asylum seeker.

Children who are younger than the compulsory age for starting school but in full-time education, can also get free school meals.

How long can they get free school meals for?

Children who are eligible for free school meals now will be eligible for them until either:

  • they finish school; or
  • if on 31 March 2022 they are still in school, until they finish the phase of schooling they are in (primary or secondary) –

whichever is sooner.

Infant free school meals in England

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can get free school meals whatever your income. But if you have one of the qualifying incomes (above) it will help the school if you tell them this, so they can get extra funding.

School, college and early years closures

News release from the Department for Education

Schools will close from Monday, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children

Published 18 March 2020

From:Department for Education and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Gavin Williamson

After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.

Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.

Where schools are unable to look after these children, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available in the same area.

Registered early years providers, including childminders, private schools and sixth forms should also follow this guidance. We will provide financial support for these settings as required.

Where possible, we would encourage settings to also look after key workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.

The scientific advice shows that these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending – but asking others to stay away will help us to slow the spread.

To lift the pressure on schools themselves and to allow them to focus on supporting those children who need it most, Ofsted will cease all inspections of schools and colleges with immediate effect.

We will not go ahead with primary school assessments or secondary exams this summer, and we will not be publishing performance tables.

We will work with the sector and Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications they need.

We recognise that many special schools and residential settings will need to continue to look after their pupils.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Fighting Coronavirus and protecting the vulnerable and our NHS are the Government’s top priorities right now. That’s why we are asking schools, nurseries and colleges to close – except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

We are facing increasingly extraordinary circumstances, but by asking schools to support our key workers and vulnerable children I am confident we will help beat this virus.

I am deeply grateful for the civic spirit and dedication of everyone working in education, and I will continue to provide my full support throughout this crisis.

To support children eligible for free school meals, schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops.

The government has also confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pays to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs. The final amounts will be confirmed shortly via guidance for schools.

Effective immediately, schools will be able to order vouchers directly from supermarkets or shops in their communities to be emailed or printed and posted to families, and they will have their costs covered by the Department for Education.

We know that many universities and other higher education institutions are already taking necessary steps to keep their staff and students safe. We are confident vice-chancellors are making the right decisions and the Department for Education continues to support them in doing so.

To support nurseries at this time, the Chancellor has also decided that they will also now be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020-21, from 1 April.

Local authorities will be fully compensated for the cost of this measure. We are applying the Barnett formula to this additional support in England. 

Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday will be published by MHCLG shortly.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk020 7783 8300

General enquiries0370 000 2288

Levenshulme Language Day

Join Multilingual Manchester for a free family-friendly day of activities to celebrate Manchester’s many languages and cultures! 

The event will take place at The Klondyke Club, Arcadia Library and Levenshulme Market. Activities include language taster sessions, stalls, performances, crafts and games for children, world music, international food, and more. 

For more information or to get involved, please contact <mlm@manchester.ac.uk>

Save Our Schools Rally

A protest march against cuts to school funding will be held on 29th April starting at 12.00 from the main entrance to Cedar Mount School and heading to Crowcroft Park for a rally and picnic.

“Please contact Miss Hollywood on 0161 359 3160 if you are interested in attending the protest at Crowcroft park on Sat 29th April. We will be setting off from the main gates at Cedar Mount Academy at 12.00 noon, bring placards and loud voices. Please share the post with your friends #whatwouldyoucut #saveourschool”

Find Out TONIGHT Why These People Want To Be Your MP

Your election.
Your  MP.
Eight people ready for your questions TONIGHT.
19.00 at the Jain Centre, 667-9 Stockport Road, M12 4QE.

  1. ABIDOGUN, Kemi (Christian Peoples Alliance)
  2. CLIFFORD, Peter (Communist League)
  3. DISCO, The Irrelevant Johnny (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party)
  4. GALLOWAY, George (Independent)
  5. HOPKINS, David Michael
  6. KHAN, Mohammed Afzal (Labour Party)
  7. MAYO, Jess (Green Party)
  8. PEARCEY, Jackie (Liberal Democrats)

Free French At Our Fabulous Levenshulme Library

As part of the French literature week, Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre will be running a one off special story time and performance session for 0-5 year olds in French, that’s right in French.

The session will take place on Monday 11th July at 10:30-11:15

This is a free event and due to space limitation we advise you book in advance.

To reserve your place, please contact 0161 227 3707.

Learning a new language can be fun whatever your age!

Alma Park School Summer Fair

This Saturday, 21st May, Alma Park School Summer Fair! 2-4pm.
Come along and enjoy. There will be all the usual things: various stalls, Cakes, Toys, Bri-a-brac, all kinds of games of skill and chance, hook a duck etc, Bouncy castle, Facepaint stall, Mendi, Food and snack stalls, etc etc etc. Fun afternoon. Alma Park School, Errwood Rd, Levenshulme.

Artist Residency At Bankley Studios

Levenshulme’s Bankley Studios is offering a residency for a local artist from Greater Manchester.


Residency opportunity for an artist based in Greater Manchester

Bankley Studios would like to offer the opportunity of a two-month residency in Bankley’s project space ‘Studio20’ to an artist based in the Greater Manchester area. We are particularly interested in hearing from artists who may not be able to participate in intensive creative practice away from home due to various other commitments. We welcome applications from artists working in all types of contemporary visual art, including two- and three-dimensional practices, installation, new media, moving image and performance.

Taking place during May and June 2016, the residency will offer the artist space and time to experiment and test ideas, and to produce a new body of work for an exhibition in our newly renovated Gallery Space. The Artist will be supported by the Project Space Team and receive one-on-one mentoring sessions with a curator in preparation for their show.

During the residency Bankley will be hosting talks and critical discussions with artists and arts professionals around the theme of ‘Process’. The artist in residence may wish to contribute towards this event, i.e. with an Artist Talk or Open studio event.

The residency includes:

  • 24h access to a free studio space at Bankley’s Project Space ‘Studio20’
  • £200 stipend towards materials
  • 2-week solo exhibition in the Gallery Space, either immediately following the residency or scheduled later in the year (to be agreed with the artist)
  • Mentoring by a curator who will work with the artist in the installation of the show

The artist will be encouraged to hold their own artist talk and/or or Open Studio event and to add to the Bankley blog whilst in residence

Application process:

Artists will be required to submit an application form (see below) alongside 5 images of current work (in .jpeg format, no larger than 1 MB each) and an Artist CV. Selected artists will then be invited for an interview with members of the Bankley committee before the final decision is made.

Deadline for applications: Friday 18th March 2016

Interviews will take place in April 2016.

Further information about Bankley Studios can be found HERE

  

Arcadia Library And Leisure Centre Is Now Open

After years of campaigns, consultations, marches, plans, occupations, letters, meetings, talking and even quite a bit of dancing the people of Levenshulme can now celebrate as our new Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre throws open its doors.

Here are a few photographs of the new Arcadia. These are the third set in the series of photographs recording the old Levensulme Baths, the original Levenshulme Library and now the new Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre.

Arcadia is a brand new £9.3m facility. It is managed and operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited under the Better brand through a contract with Manchester City Council. GLL are experts in managing leisure facilities. The facilities were built by Laing O’Rourke both on time and on budget. The quality and attention to detail is very impressive. Arcadia includes:

  • Community Library of 300 square metres including dedicated children’s library 
  • Over 20 free computers
  • Free wifi throughout the centre
  • Two swimming pools
  • Flexible changing rooms that can provide dedicated access to one pool for use by specific groups or for private hire 
  • Multipurpose Community Studio for exercise classes or community activities or meetings
  • 60 station gym with additional free weights
  • Sauna – up to 12 people
  • Steam room – up to 12 people
  • Disabled access throughout with a large lift and easy access for the pools
  • A buggy store

Arcadia stands as a wonderful facility and proof of what can be achieved when there is a genuine cooperative, positive collaboration between residents, our community, councillors, council officers, designers and developers.

This is our facility.

(All photographs copyright Jeremy Hoad)

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

   

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

Goodbye Levenshulme Library

Levenshulme Library closed its doors today for the last time after 112 years serving our community.

The library was opened in 1904 as a Carnegie Library and has provided a place of learning, support, education, entertainment and community events and meetings for over a century.

The library was going to close several years ago under council plans but Levenshulme residents campaigned long and hard to keep the doors open. We had marathon readings, occupations of the building, demonstrations and die-ins on the street outside. Art work from children across our community adorned the failings of the library and discussions and meetings were held with the council to save Levenshulme Library. In the end we won and kept the library open with Levenshulme High School for Girls renting the building several days a week. We spoke, the council listened and the library stayed open.

With the imminent opening of the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre on Stockport Road the old library has now reached the end of that chapter in its story. Hopefully the building will find a new role as a community centre and facility for all sorts of exciting things but for now the doors have closed and the lights have gone off. The Levenshulme Old Library group conitinue to work to try and find a future for the building but for now the old Levenshulme Library is in the past.

Jeremy Hoad, Secretary of Levenshulme Community Association took one last look round the library and recorded a few images before the doors closed.

Levenshulme Library, 1904-2016

(All photographs copyright Jeremy Hoad)

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Greater Manchester Libraries Unite With New Superservice

 Councils across Greater Manchester join together to share access to almost 3 million books from this weekend. 
Everyone living in Manchester, Bolton, Oldham , Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Trafford will be able to borrow books from scores of sites across Greater Manchester – rather than just libraries in their own boroughs with Tameside council joining later this year.
This is perfect timing just before the new Levenshulme library opens on Saturday 20th February in the new £9.3m Arcadia Levenshulme Library and Leisure Centre on Stockport Road.

See the Manchester Libraries announcement HERE

Manchester Evening News article HERE

ITV News report HERE

  

Another New School Planned

Another new school is being planned near us. This time in Rusholme in addition to the new school run by the Dean Trust opening in Ardwick.
Great to see Manchester City Council planning for the future and committing itself to a good model of educational provision.
Council statement and consultation:

“We’re planning to open a brand new secondary school in Rusholme in September 2017 to meet the growing demand for places in the area. And we want to know what you think.

The school will be built on land just off Lytham Road. It will be for girls and boys, and have eight forms for each year group.

The new school will be set up as a ‘free school’. Find out more about free schools at: www.gov.uk/types-of-school/free-schools

With modern facilities and a high-quality environment, the new school will help more children meet their full potential and encourage people to live in the neighbourhood.

What do you think?

Give us your views and we’ll use them to help develop the proposal in the best way to meet local needs.

When we have drawn up more detailed plans we’ll invite interested organisations to bid to become the school’s sponsor.”

The consultation is available HERE

The consultation closes at 5pm, Friday 13 November 2015.