Free school meals

Find out if your child qualifies for free school meals.
Children eating free school meals at lunchtime

Free school meals in primary schools

We offer every child in a Newham primary school (including infants and juniors) a free school lunch everyday. Newham is one of only three local authorities in the country to provide a universally free school meal scheme to junior schools, and currently over 15,000 pupils (2016/17) are benefiting from a free school meal who would not have otherwise qualified for a subsided or free meal. This offer is delivered and funded in partnership with Newham schools and the Mayor of Newham as part of the Mayor's Promise.

Extra funding for your child's school

Even though primary schools offer a free school lunch every day, if you apply for a free school meal - and we agree your application - you can raise £1,300 for your child’s school. This extra money comes from the Government, and in the next school year the amount goes up to £1,320 per child.

Apply for free school meals

Free school meals in secondary schools


Your child may receive free school meals if you get any of the following benefits:
  • income support
  • income-based jobseekers allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • support under immigration and asylum law
  • the guarantee part of state pension credit
  • child tax credit and you have an annual income of £16,190 before tax or less  (whatever Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs* works out for you).

But you will need to apply for them. 

Children who get any of the benefits in their own right, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

You cannot get free school meals for your child if:
  • you (or your partner) receive working tax credit, unless
    • you receive working tax credit in the four weeks immediately after your work ends
    • you receive working tax credits in the four weeks after you start work and you work less than 16 hours per week
  • you (or your partner) is the child’s foster parent as arranged by a local authority.

Apply for free school meals

Make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand before you fill in the form.
Apply for free school meals
We use your National Insurance number to find out from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) whether or not you qualify for free school meals.
Note, the DWP will only tell us if you qualify. They will not give us any information about the benefits you receive.
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