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Financial support for pupils and students

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could also get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.

Free school meals (Pupil Premium)

Free school meals are a statutory means-tested benefit which provides a child or young person with meals at school for free.

We want to make sure that everyone who is eligible is using this benefit. Some parents in the borough who are eligible to claim free school meals for their children are not claiming their entitlement.

Taking up free school meals has positive outcomes for everyone:

  • children can benefit from a healthy free nutritious meal
  • families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year by claiming free school meals
  • it’s anonymous for parents (because so much of the application process can be done online, a person's entitlement is mostly processed electronically)
  • it’s anonymous for young people (thanks to our cashless catering system, claiming free school meals is anonymous – cards are swiped in the same way as a paid-for meal so nobody knows that it’s a free school meal)
  • schools can benefit directly by receiving money from the government

Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £1,320 for your child’s primary school or £935 for your child’s secondary school, paid by the government, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities. Your school could benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you have a live claim for free school meals this will automatically be carried over and awarded for your child from 1st September 2018. Any child moving from infants to junior or junior to secondary schools with a live award will also automatically be moved over to the new allocated school. New claims are not required for any child with a current live award for free school meals.

Letters will not be sent to either parents or schools; all schools will be notified and sent a full report detailing all live free school meals awards valid from September 2018 so they can update their systems.

Who can claim free school meals

If you are on a low income or receive Child Benefit and any of these benefits, you could claim free school meals for your child:

  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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 (earnings after tax and not including any benefits you get)

You may qualify for free school meals for your child if:

  • you are an asylum seeker
  • you live outside Barking and Dagenham but meet the previous criteria and your child is attending a school in the borough
  • your only or main income is one of the benefits listed

Universal free school meals (Key Stage 1)

Your child will still be able to get free school meals under the current universal free school meals policy if they’re in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

To ensure your child’s school receives the additional funding for Pupil Premium, complete the new application form available at your child's school reception.

Apply for Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)

Make sure you have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number to hand when applying for free school meals.

All schools have been asked to treat the application and award of free school meals sensitively.

Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)

All children who are in Key Stage 1 (Reception, Year 1 and 2) at a state-funded school are offered a free healthy school lunch.

Children in other school years will be offered a free school meal if their parent or guardian is receiving any welfare benefits or has a low household income.

Registering your child enables your child’s school to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after-school activities.

Registering for Pupil Premium

The best way to contact us and apply for Pupil Premium is to use our registration form below.

Pupil Premium registration form

If you've made a report previously you can check the progress of your report

Free travel for children under 16s

All children under the age of 16 can travel for free on London buses and trams. Pupils must apply for a travel photo card before their 16th birthday.

Children who are 14 or 15 can travel free with a Child Oyster photo card. Children who look under the age of 14 can travel free on London’s buses and trams without a photo card.

Application forms for a child Oyster photo card are available at all Post Offices in Greater London and areas just beyond the boundary that are served by the London bus network, or you can apply online.

Apply for a child Oyster card

Special educational needs travel assistance

Travel assistance

The majority of pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) do not need and do not receive travel assistance. However, there are some pupils and students with severe learning difficulties, physical and medical needs who may need travel assistance; this can assist parents in getting pupils to school.

Eligibility for travel assistance depends on your child’s individual needs, age and ability. Where possible, children and young people with SEND will be encouraged and supported to travel independently.

Travel assistance application form

Independent travel training

Our independent travel training service supports young people with special educational needs and disabilities to travel independently to and from their place of education. Our travel trainers help young people gain the confidence and skills they need to make their journeys safely and independently.

Suitability for independent travel training will be considered as part of the travel assistance application process. In addition to referrals through the council, if individuals have personal budgets or are self-funding, they can purchase travel training or travel support.

More information

If you have questions about your child’s journey to school and whether they qualify for assistance to travel to school, contact your local children’s centre, or our Transport Commissioning Team.

Transport Commissioning Team

Town Hall, Barking IG11 7LU


Local taxi and transport services

All the services can accommodate passenger assistants.

Company nameContact detailsVehicles availableOpening
Barking and Dagenham 
Passenger Transport
020 8227 2445Accessible vehicles, minibuses6am to 6pm
LB Redbridge Passenger Transport020 8708 5303Accessible vehicles minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars6am to 6pm
Clayhall Executive Cars020 8550 6767MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Diamond Car Service020 8599 0555MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Dilshan Transport Group020 8599 7090Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars6am to 6pm
Fox Transport020 8986 6161Accessible vehicles, minibuses6am to 6pm
Goldline Cars020 8555 5555Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Highway Express    01708 744000Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Olympic South (HATS)020 3693 6962Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars7am to 5pm
Star Mini Cabs01708 736736Accessible vehicles, minibuses24 hours

Independent Living Agency

Independent Living Agency website



Dial a ride website



DABD website

Travel assistance policies

Home to school travel assistance policy (PDF, 134 KB)

Post-16 travel arrangements policy 2019-20 (PDF, 126 KB)

Qualifying for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund

If you're between 16 and 19, you may qualify for weekly payments to attend school or college. To receive a bursary, you must regularly attend school or college and meet one of these criteria:

  • be in receipt of free school meals
  • be in care
  • be a care leaver
  • be receiving income support
  • be disabled and receiving both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Allowance

Payments will only be authorised if you follow these conditions:

  • attend all lessons on time
  • all work must be completed as requested by the teaching staff
  • good behaviour, attitude and effort at all times

For a school bursary, contact your school directly and ask about the 16 to 19 Bursary.

Bursary Fund application

To apply for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, fill in the following application form and return it to the school you are attending.

Bursary application form (DOC, 48 KB)

Barking and Dagenham College has more information about the bursary.

If your course is directly career-related (for example, it's not GCSEs or A levels), you may be eligible to apply for a bursary from the Colin Pond Trust Fund.  

Colin Pond Trust Fund

Extra financial help for students

Anyone over the age of 16, who is considering taking a further or higher education course but needs extra financial help, can apply for a bursary from the Colin Pond Trust Fund.

Colin Pond was a councillor in Barking and Dagenham who had a lifelong interest in education. He was a firm believer in the European Union and developed strong links with Witten in Germany. He left a sum of money to help young people benefit from an extended education.


To be eligible, applicants must be a resident of Barking and Dagenham (or attend school/college in the borough) or Witten, and be aged 16 or over. The bursary must be used to part-finance a qualification for a career, but not GCSEs. AS/A levels, GNVQs or similar qualifications.

Grants will not be given to fund work experience or business venture projects, or to fund courses where qualifications are unconnected to a career.

Contact us for an application form or further information by emailing colinpondtrust@lbbd.gov.uk