Adding Free School Meal (FSM) Eligibility

Adding Free school meal eligibility to a student's profile allows you to not charge the student for meals and certain clubs and trips, and to report eligibility in your census (you can see errors that may flag in your census for FSM here).

Please note that we do not have an Eligibility Checker built in to Arbor, so you'll need to use another system if you need to validate whether a student should be logged as FSM.


  • Student Profile: Background: Administer All Students - Add or edit FSM eligibility for all students.
  • Student Profile: Background: Administer My Students - Add or edit FSM eligibility students assigned to the user.

If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.


Adding FSM Eligibility

To add a period of free school meal eligibility to a child, go to their student profile and scroll down to the Background section.

Click +Add and select Add Free School Meal Eligibility



In the slide over, add the dates they were eligible for free school meals for, then click Add eligibility

The DfE has outlined that during the implementation of Universal Credit and the introduction of a net earned income threshold to determine eligibility for free school meals, all students who have free school meals on 31 March 2018 or later will remain protected until the end of the universal credit roll-out period.

Please make sure that for each student that has an FSM period that covers 31 March 2018 or later, that the end date is set to Ongoing.



You will see the Derived Background Indicators section will also be updated with FSM and any other indicators calculated in the background.



Make sure none of the FSM periods overlaps and that all but the most recent have an end date. You can check this by clicking the Background > Free School Meal field and scrolling down to the bottom of the slide over.



You can edit the periods of eligibility if needed by clicking them and clicking Edit.



Editing or removing FSM Eligibility

For each student that has FSM, make sure none of the FSM periods overlaps and that all but one have an end date. To edit a period of eligibility, click the Eligible field.



To edit the current period of eligibility, click Edit. To edit previous periods on eligibility, select the period of eligibility.



You can then edit or delete the eligibility.


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I'm still stuck!


  • I would like to run a report that shows last verified date and next check date for free school meal children, how can I pull these two dates through on to a report

  • Hi Nicola, it currently isn't possible to report on this in bulk. If you'd like us to consider this in future, please see how to submit this to our product team here.


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