School meals

Free school meals

Lunchtime hot and cold meals are available at all of the primary and secondary schools in Newham. There has never been a better time for your child to stay in school for a healthy lunch. All schools have good dining facilities and menus follow the standards laid down by the Department for Education’s School Food in England Standards March 2019.

Free school meals in primary schools

Every primary school aged child attending school in Newham still has the opportunity to have a free school lunch even if their parents/carers are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits for free school meals.

Extra funding for your child’s school

Whether your child is at primary school and receiving a free meal, has lunch at home or you are currently working, we request that the parents/carers of all primary and secondary aged children in Newham should still register for free school meals, even if you don’t think you are currently eligible.

Once we have the application if at anytime a family is in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits for free school meals we will automatically update our records and their school will receive additional funding known as Ever6 Pupil Premium. This is up to £1,320 depending on the child’s age.

Transitional protection

What is transitional protection?

From 1 April 2018, transitional protections were implemented by the Department for Education (DfE) in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This was to minimise the impact of the rollout of Universal Credit and the introduction of the net earned threshold to determine eligibility for free school meals and to ensure no pupil loses a meal as result of these changes.

Who will be awarded transitional protection and how long will it be in place?

  • Was in receipt of free school meals on 31 March 2018 should continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal credit roll out period, and then until their phase of education ends. This covers until at least Summer 2023 even if their circumstances change and they no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
  • ​Became eligible for free school meals from 1 April 2018 will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal credit rollout period, and then until their phase of education ends. This covers until at least Summer 2023 even if their circumstances change and they no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing pupil who no longer meets the eligibility criteria at that point will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary. For nursery pupils with free school meals entitlement the end of phase is defined by the DfE as the end of the primary phase.

New starters who have sibling with transitional protection

Transitional protections are put in place on an individual child basis, not on a family basis. This means that children will not become automatically entitled to free school meals simply because their sibling receives transitional protections.

Extending transitional protections to families would lead be unfair for children without siblings.

The new child must meet the eligibility criteria at the time the application for free school meals is made in order to be entitled to free school meals. So for reception children we will need a fresh free school meals form as the families entitlement can’t be applied.