As a school we fully recognise the impact of the closure of Gatwick and other areas of employment in and around Crawley over the last few months, and the difficulties that many families are facing regarding household finances. We have collated some information on the support you may be able to access in the categories below: Technological support for your child, Uniform/PE Kit and Equipment Support, Financial support in the community and accessing Free school meals and Universal credits.
If you need any support in these categories, please contact LeaderOfOpportunities@stwilfrids.com or alternatively call reception 01293 421421 and ask to be put through to the Leader of Opportunities to discuss how we can support your family at this time.
West Sussex County Council Support
West Sussex County Council is working in partnership to support people and families who are struggling the most with the rising cost of living.
The West Sussex Community Hub continues to offer direct support to vulnerable households, providing essentials such as food and supplies, as well as grants to those who are eligible.
Their 36 West Sussex libraries also offer a warm welcome to all visitors. Friendly library staff are on hand to help and advise people on a range of topics, from money management to energy saving, job seeking and benefits guidance. Regular library events like Story Time are free for families of young children.
On their ‘Here to help - Cost of living’ webpages, people can find lots of practical advice and information about how to apply for extra local and national support.
Over the Christmas school holiday, the Council will again be running its popular Holiday Activities and Food programme for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. Over the summer, 2,395 eligible children took part, and this Christmas we will be offering a range of free holiday club places where all children will be given a nutritious meal.”
Technological support for your child
All students who qualify for free school meals or are assessed as pupil premium students have the right to technological support if they are unable to access this at home. If your son/daughter does not have access to a working computer/laptop or the Internet, please contact Mrs Lay who will be able to arrange a device through our laptop loan system.
We can loan your son/daughter a working device in order to give them access to our online learning systems such as ShowMyHomework, Microsoft Teams and Go4Schools. If your child does not qualify for Free school meals and still needs technological support, please get in touch and we will do our very best to accommodate this support.
Uniform/PE Kit and Equipment Support
If you are struggling to fund any uniform, PE Kit or equipment for lessons please contact Miss Kennedy or your child’s relevant year leader and inform them of the items you need support with. If you visit our uniform section on our website www.stwilfrids.com/schooluniform there is a clear description of the schools requirements.
Our School Uniform can be purchased online at www.sussexuniforms.co.uk or telephone 01444 227066. If you are requesting support for uniform it would be helpful for you to have measured your child accurately and to know the sizes required, the school will assess the need of your son/daughter and possibly offer part of the funding of these items.
Free school Meals and Universal credits
If you are currently out of work/not receiving an income, or if your income has been significantly reduced, you may be entitled to benefits through the universal credit system.
If you are unsure/have not yet applied, you can access more information and begin the application process using this link https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit .
As well as this, you may wish to apply for your son/daughter to receive a Free School Meal.
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
The following link below gives you information regarding eligibility and how to apply https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/schools-and-colleges/free-school-meals/free-school-meals-online-application-form/
There is also more information on the extension of Free school meals eligibility for families who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) in the link below.
Children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) are;
- children of Zambrano carers
- children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction
These groups are subject to a maximum household income threshold of £31,500 per year for London, and £28,200 for areas outside of London. See the London or outside London section if you are unsure as to which threshold applies for your circumstances.
The Government are also temporarily extending eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This group is not subject to a maximum household income threshold as these families are not able to work. To find out more information please click the link below:
Financial support in the community
There are some excellent support teams in our local community who can help to distribute food parcels and also support payment of bills if your family is struggling. There are a few websites listed below that you can directly access.
Emergency Food parcels to collect from school; Weekly on Thursdays
St Vincent De Pauls, Crawley have been kind enough to offer Emergency Food parcel support for our families who are in need.
This is an ongoing weekly delivery, that parents/carers will need to collect from the school. The parcels include non-perishable items such as coffee, tins, soup, pasta, cereal etc.
If this is something that would interest you then please contact your son/daughter year leader or Megan Kennedy.
The Easter Team
The Horsham District Food Bank
East Grinstead Food bank
The Free Shop Crawley
Contact number - 07818 883 575
The Diocese also supports individual families in need though their applications to their Crisis Fund, if you would like to be considered for a one off payment of support from the Diocese please call Miss Kennedy to discuss your circumstances. In the past applications have been supported to help with payment for food, bills and other financial costs that have occurred during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you are unable to access funding for food for your children, please ring/email Mrs Lay so that we can support you with emergency food vouchers.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs Lay or your sons/daughters Year Leader for support through this difficult time.
Countries around the world are facing rising goods and energy prices, inflation and cost of living pressures after the pandemic. We know people are worried so the government is offering help for households.
See what cost of living support you could be eligible for here: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/ “