There are many sources of support available to families, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start looking. A fantastic starting point is the Family Information Service (FIS). If you are going through something and are not sure what support might be available to you, they are an excellent team to contact; in school we can also make a referral to them for you if you would prefer.
During the school holidays if you need a referral to the Stratford Uniform Bank or Foodbank please contact either FIS 01926 742 274 or Citizens Advice South Warwickshire 0300 330 1183, both are referral agents and will be able to help you whilst the school is closed.
Warwickshire Family Information Service (FIS)
The Family Information Service (FIS) is a helpful friendly service which supports families with a wide range of needs including childcare, finance, housing, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and family relationships. Not sure who can help? give the team a call, and they can offer advice and support.
They are available every Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) 9am to 5pm by phone 01926 742 274 or email email@example.com. You can also message on Facebook WarwickshireFIS.
Remember FIS are available when school is closed over the summer break, so please don't hesitate to contact them if you need any sort of support.
FIS send out a weekly newsletter full of useful links to advice and support. To view previous copies of the newsletter or sign up to receive them in your inbox, click here.
There is also a lot of information available on the FIS website.
If you would like help from FIS you can call the helpline 01926 742 274. Alternatively you can ask school to refer you to the brokerage service who will be able to look into your situation in detail. To request a referral by school please either speak to your child's college leader or our pastoral support manager.
Free School Meals (FSM) and Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme
Families who receive the following are eligible for free school meals (FSM):
- income support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- guarantee element of state pension credit
- Universal Credit (with an annual income of less than £7,400)
- Both income-based and contribution-based JSA/ESA if you receive the same amount for both. You should also qualify if you receive both but the income-based amount is greater, but not if the contribution-based amount is greater.
- Families who are awarded Child Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by HMRC, not in excess of £16,190 are also eligible to claim free school meals providing there is no entitlement to Working Tax Credit (unless in respect of a 4-week ‘run-on’).
We are unable to backdate entitlement to FSM; your children are not eligible to receive them prior to the date you have successfully applied for them.
Students in receipt of FSM receive their lunch in exactly the same way as all other students, using the biometric system, therefore no other students know who is receiving FSM. The allowance is available to spend at lunchtime only; this helps to ensure that all students have an opportunity to partake in a hot and healthy meal instead of a snack at break time. The current allowance is £2.60 per student per day and any remaining balance cannot be rolled over to the next day. Parents/carers can add extra money via ParentMail if they wish, e.g. for a snack at breaktime or additional spending at lunch.
The easiest way to apply for free school meals is online through the Warwickshire parent portal. There is also a helpline available if you are unable to access the portal 01926 359 189.
Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme
For the holiday periods, the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme will support families with children registered to be in receipt of benefits-related FSM. This does not apply to infant pupil universal offer for FSM. To qualify for the Warwickshire Welfare Scheme support, you must be registered for benefits-related FSM. Please call 0800 4081448 and speak with an advisor.
Anyone can reach crisis point and the Foodbank are here to help when that happens. The Foodbank work using a referral system. The school are a referral agent during term time. If you need a referral, please speak to your child's college leader or our pastoral support manager in confidence. All requests will be dealt with confidentially and your child will not be informed of the request.
Outside of term time please contact FIS 01926 742 274 or Citizens Advice South Warwickshire 0300 330 1183, both are referral agents and will be able to help you whilst the school is closed.
The Foodbank currently distribute food parcels from their white portakabin on the Tesco car park (near the Click and Collect), Birmingham Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Distribution sessions for voucher holders are currently held at the following times:
- Monday 5-6.30pm
- Tuesday 12-2pm
- Thursday 5-6.30pm
- Friday 12-2pm
Please arrive 15 minutes before the end of a session.
In an emergency, if you are unable to reach FIS or Citizens Advice, you can contact the foodbank direct: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07736 929029
Stratford-upon-Avon Uniform Bank
The Stratford-upon-Avon Uniform Bank provides support to families who are struggling with the cost of school uniform in the Stratford-Upon-Avon Area.
To apply for assistance from the Uniform Bank you will need a referral code. During term time the school is a referral agent and you can request a referral code from your child's college leader or our pastoral support manager. In the school holidays please contact FIS 01926 742 274 or Citizens Advice South Warwickshire 0300 330 1183, both are referral agents and will be able to help you whilst the school is closed.
Please read the Important Information for Applicants on the Uniform Bank's website before requesting a referral.
In order to request anything from the Uniform Bank it is essential you know the exact sizes of the items you require before placing your request.
Financial Assistance from School
Please visit our Financial Assistance page.
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