Management Information Sheet

Food vouchers for Free School Meal eligible pupils July 2023 to March 2024 - December Update

MI Sheet TypeInformation
MI Number:217/23
Publication Date:05/12/2023 10:00:00
Audience:Headteachers, Finance Staff

Food vouchers for Free School Meal eligible pupils July 2023 to March 2024 - December Update

Following the release of MI Sheet 117/23 , the following information is to provide a reminder to order your December vouchers.

If you have not already ordered your September, October & November vouchers, then please could you action this immediately. We still have a number of schools who have not submitted their orders.

NCC is not linking the food vouchers to the school holidays but is issuing them monthly to help families with the cost of living. Parents/carers may choose to save vouchers rather than spend at the time of issue, so they have more funds available during the school holidays if they wish to, within the constraints of the three-month expiry date of the vouchers. Note: If vouchers expire, they cannot be reissued.

If your organisation feels there is a need to raise vouchers, other than for the purpose described above, you will need to contact the Free School Meal Finance Team to gain authorisation and explain the purpose for the use. If we agree, then the organisation will be required to provide us with an alternative userid and the organisation will be billed for the vouchers claimed. To cover the administration time, we will apply a £20 fee per invoice to cover the costs.

This is also a reminder that those children eligible for means tested free school meals attending a Norfolk School can claim through the Norfolk EdenRed portal, regardless of their home county residence. Please also take account of those pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium Plus. This also includes children in early years who receive EY Pupil Premium, those in post-16 education in receipt of bursary funding and those Elective Home Educated children that the council is aware of that would be eligible to means-tested FSM should they attend school.

Vouchers can only be issued for the current active claim period, in this case HSF4 April 2023-March 2024. Backdated claims for previous schemes cannot be ordered.

The schedule for placing the HSF4 FSM voucher orders are as follows:

Month Value £ Go live date Expiry date Monthly Order Ref Consolidated Order Ref
July 30 07-Jul-23 07-Oct-23 4 HSF4 JY 1 HSF4 MA
August 30 11-Aug-23 11-Nov-23 5 HSF4 AU 1 HSF4 MA
September 15 08-Sep-23 08-Dec-23 6 HSF4 SE 1 HSF4 SD
October 15 13-Oct-23 13-Jan-24 7 HSF4 OC 1 HSF4 SD
November 15 10-Nov-23 10-Feb-24 8 HSF4 NO 1 HSF4 SD
December 45 04-Dec-23 04-Mar-24 9 HSF4 DE 1 HSF4 SD
January 15 05-Jan-24 05-Apr-24 10 HSF4 JA 1 HSF4 JM
February 15 09-Feb-24 09-May-24 11 HSF4 FE 1 HSF4 JM
March 15 08-Mar-24 08-Jun-24 12 HSF4 MH 1 HSF4 JM

Schools may place their orders monthly or consolidate them. Depending on which option you choose, please use the correct order reference as shown in the columns above. The order reference has now become a mandatory field to complete so please use the correct details.

It is important that if you choose the consolidated order option you enter the correct 'go live' dates on your CSV file before uploading it into the EdenRed portal so that the vouchers do not become available to parents/ carers too early.

Please refer to your Edenred user guide for instructions at

All schools will need to order April and May immediately, whichever option you choose.

Any pupils newly eligible to FSM may join the schedule at the point they become entitled.

Newly appointed staff

If you are a newly appointed Headteacher or have new admin staff and are unsure about using the EdenRed portal, please e-mail as soon as possible to arrange for your log-in to be set up.


Any other queries in relation to voucher orders should also be directed to the Free School Meals Finance Team at NB: please do not contact EdenRed directly.

Please continue to encourage eligible families to register for free school meals as this will enable them to qualify for these vouchers as well as the other support available.

You may wish to share this link on your own Facebook pages to promote the scheme to your parents and carers:

Please note that the free school meal vouchers will only be available to those who are eligible and have registered.

Families in hardship and needing wider support

In addition to the offer of FSM vouchers for eligible families, there is support available for families who are facing hardship and need support.

Anyone experiencing hardship may be able to receive support through the Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS), which may be able to provide support for food, fuel, clothes and other essential household items to families experiencing hardship. Wider support from a range of partners can then also be made available with NAS working alongside the Children's Services Community and Partnerships service.

Families may get in touch with NAS via their dedicated website at Norfolk Assistance Scheme - Norfolk County Council, which includes an online application form, or if they cannot access the internet, they can call 0344 800 8020.

Thank you to colleagues for continuing to support vulnerable children and families.