School Meals & School Uniform

    Free School Meals

    Parents/Carers claiming some benefits can also claim free school meals for any of their children who are registered at a Staffordshire school and who would normally be at school during the lunch period. 

    Healthy school meals are a good way to ensure that children eat well at lunchtime. By claiming the free school meal allowance Parents/Carers save themselves time and money. Moreover, the more eligible parents who claim the free school meals, the more funding the School receive to support the education of our students. 

    Free school meals can be claimed for children if their Parent/Carer receive any of the following:
    • Income Support
    • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Only Employment and Support Allowance
    • Child Tax Credit with an annual income of less than £16,190. Anyone, receiving Working Tax Credit regardless of income will NOT qualify
    • The ’Guarantee’ element of State pension Credit
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

    Parents/Carers who think they may be eligible have two options.  The first is to download and complete the application form and the second is to use the new On line self-checking of free school meal entitlement.  Both options are described below.


    Option 1 : Download Application Form

    Please use the following link to download the application form which then needs to be completed and returned to the school or Free School Meals at the Local Authority by fax or post. 

    To be able to process the application Staffordshire County Council will need to see proof of which benefit is being claimed. A recent letter from the Benefits Agency, a full copy of the TC602 form received for child tax credit or the Parent / Carer’s Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice are all acceptable.

    Any queries regarding this should be made to the school or Free School Meals, Central Welfare Services/Education Offices, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH.

    Option 2. On line Application

    The other option is the new On line self-checking of free school meal entitlement. 

    The Local Authority is has now introduced an online self-checking service.  This means that parents/carers (or whoever they agree to do this on their behalf) apply by inputting all of the same details as previously completed on the paper forms.  

    The system will then automatically check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to see if they are entitled.  They will then be given an instant decision and any successful application forwarded to the Free School Meals Entitlement Team to set up on the system and advise the relevant school(s).  You will also have the opportunity to print a copy of the page confirming your entitlement  and so could send this to school in order to start the meals on the same day.  

    Parents/Carers need to ensure that they read all the declaration statements on the application regarding use of data etc. 

    For those applicants who are found to be not eligible, should they believe that there is an error they will still be requested to forward to the Authority the paper proof.  However, if they have a query about the benefit they are receiving they should continue to direct this enquiry to DWP or HMRC in the first instance.

    Please use the following link to access the self checking application form.

    Due to restrictions upon use of the service the Authority are unable to take applications over the telephone - they must still either be in writing via post or fax using the old form or via the new self-checking process only.  

    An instant yes or no decision can be received regarding free school meal entitlement using the online application process (Using the above link) However, any paper applications will be dealt with in the order received and a letter will be sent to confirm entitlement or refusal once the system has been updated.

    Please be aware that applications for free school meals cannot be back dated. For applications made using the self checking service the start date for the free school meals will be the date the application was successfully made and for those received by post or fax it will be the date that they are received at the Local Authority office.



    School Uniform

    We believe uniform is important because it helps to develop a sense of personal pride and form good habits for a student’s journey into adult life.  As a school our aim is for an inexpensive and sensible uniform which identifies our students as part of the Sir Graham Balfour community.  Our rules on uniform are simple and straightforward and we urge parents to support the school in ensuring a high standard of appearance at all times.

    Please use the following links.

    School Uniform Rules
    PE Requirements
    School Uniform Comparison
    School Uniform Shop


    School Uniform Rules

    Boys and Girls Uniform





    Navy blue blazer with badge on chest pocket and sleeves rolled down.


    NO student is permitted to not wear their blazer in and around school except during extremely warm weather.  Students have a choice whether to wear their blazer during lessons.  Blazer sleeves are NOT allowed to be rolled up. Parents will be notified if blazers do not need to be worn in times of warm weather. 


    Standard dark grey trousers.

    NO hipster, skinny, flared trousers, jeans or trousers with exposed fashion buttons, laces or zips.


    Plain black belt.

    NO large belt buckles.


    Dark grey knee length skirt.

    NO jersey skirts (eg. tube skirt) and skirts MUST NOT be rolled up.



    White cotton shirt or blouse. These may be either long or short sleeved but must be capable of being tucked into trousers or skirts and must be tucked in at all times. There must be a top button that can be done up so that the clip-on tie can be attached.

    NO Short fitted blouses or un-tucked shirts.




    Navy blue “V” necked sweater or cardigan (optional) worn underneath their blazer.

    NO Hoodies.


    School Tie – Clip-on with House colour.


    NO ties unclipped or positioned lower than the top button in school.


    Plain, dark socks (Black or Grey).

    NO coloured socks or leggings.


    Black, grey or flesh coloured.

    NO patterned tights, lace tights, fishnet tights, coloured tights or footless tights.


    Sensible, plain, black leather or PVC leather school shoes with sensible heels (height 3cm). They must be plain black shoes and if they have laces they must be black.

    NO fabric, canvas, trainers, converse, sports shoes, pumps, sandals, creepers, wedges, dance slippers, sling backs, mules or boots. 



    Plain coats are recommended but not compulsory. Coats to be worn over uniform to and from school.

    NO coats worn in school and they must not have inappropriate logos.


    Large enough and strong enough to carry the necessary books.

    NO small handbags that cannot fit books.


    Make up

    Subtle make-up is acceptable - this is natural foundation and includes clear nail varnish and a subtle coat of mascara.



    NO blusher or bronzer.


    NO thickly coated eyelashes, false eyelashes, eye shadow, eyeliner or heavily pencilled in eyebrows.


    NO false nail extensions, clip-on nails or

    coloured nail varnish.


    Teachers reserve the right to ask students to remove excess make-up at their discretion.

    Hair Styles

    Sensible hair styles.

    NO extreme hair colour or styles /shaved patterns (natural tones only).

    Hair Accessories


    Plain, dark blue or black hair bands or bobbles.

    NO coloured hair bands, bobbles or large flowers.


    A watch and one small plain gold or silver stud per ear.  All other body piercings (tongue, nose, lips, belly button, eyebrow etc.) are forbidden on the grounds of health and safety in and around school.

    A religious bangle may be worn and any religious necklace can be worn underneath the shirt, to be confirmed in writing by the parent.

    NO large earrings, ear gauges, ear cuffs, dangly earrings or fashion earrings.


    NO bangles, bracelets or non-charity

    wristbands, non-House charity badges.


    NO rings.


    Contact Lenses or Glasses

    Prescription lenses and glasses only.

    NO coloured contacts or fashion glasses.


    The school reserves the right to confiscate items that are being worn or used inappropriately and can ban unforeseen items that may come under ‘fashion items’ but are not specifically stated in our uniform code. If you have any doubts or concerns please contact your child’s House Head.

    PE Requirements

    Outdoor Kit:

    Royal Blue T-Shirt with school badge

    Black Shorts

    Royal Blue Football Socks

    Football Boots for field activities

    Shin Pads

    Outdoor Trainers

    Gum Shield (for rugby only)

    Optional Outdoor Kit:

    Plain Black Tracksuit Bottoms

    Royal Blue or new Black tracksuit top with school badge

    Long Sleeved Base Layer

    Indoor Kit:

    Royal Blue T-Shirt

    Black Shorts

    Royal Blue Football Socks

    Indoor Trainers

    PE Rules

    All students must bring their PE kit to every lesson and get changed.

    If they are ill or injured there is still always something they can do.

    All jewellery/piercings must be removed


    School Uniform Shop

    The school uniform shop will continue to take orders for items of the old style uniform which Year 11 students are still required to wear.  With regard to the PE uniform, there is no change: students will continue to wear the current one.  This is also still available to order from the school shop.  Crested Schoolwear based in St Mary’s Mews, in the centre of Stafford, will also be stocking these items.

    Payment can be made by cash or cheque in school.  Payment in full will be required at the time of ordering.

    Please click here to open the Order form.

    From September 2017 our school uniform shop will also stock replacement school ties and iron-on badges that can be purchased as and when required.

    Should you have any queries about uniform, please contact Mrs Hartley (Assistant Headteacher) or Mrs D Evans  (Office Manager) at school who will be happy to help.