By Jack Sargeant

MS for Alyn and Deeside

Have you claimed all the support you can get with school costs?

The vast majority of primary school children in Flintshire are now entitled to Universal Primary Free School Meals and every child will be eligible by September. This is a fantastic achievement and means no child will go hungry through the school day.

Thanks to investment from the Welsh Labour Government and the hard work of dedicated school staff, children receive healthy nutritious hot meals, keeping them fuelled for the school day and able to concentrate in the classroom. Universal Free school meals are especially important given the ongoing cost of living crisis and the pressure many families are under due to the costs of spiralling household bills. No child should go hungry, and I am proud that the Welsh Labour Government has made the rollout a priority in such difficult economic circumstances.

It is still important however to apply for Free School Meals if your child is eligible, regardless of the Universal Primary Schools Free Meals rollout – if eligible both you and your school could get additional funding. If your circumstances have changed recently or you receive certain benefits, you can apply via the Flintshire County Council website.

If your application is accepted, you will be entitled to financial help through the School Essentials Grant. You could be entitled to up to £200 from the Welsh Government to help pay for school uniform including coats and footwear, school activities such as sports equipment and classroom essentials including pens, pencils, and school bags. This can make a massive difference for a family struggling to afford school expenses.

On top of this, your school will get at least £1,150 in extra funding, which is so important given the pressure public services are under during this difficult time. So, to ensure you have claimed the school costs support that’s rightfully yours, please head to the Flintshire CC website to check your eligibility.