What are the new eligibility criteria?

Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below.

  • Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit


You are strongly encouraged to register for Free School Meals for any year groups not covered by Universal Free School Meals:


Alternately, if you wish to speak to someone in person, the address you need is:

London Borough of Havering Children’s Services

Town Hall
Main Road


I am currently claiming free school meals – what does this mean for me?

If you’re currently claiming free school meals, but don’t meet the new criteria, your child will continue to receive free school meals until the end of March 2022. This will apply even if your earnings rise above the new threshold or if you stop being entitled to Universal Credit. Your child will keep their free school meal until the end of their current phase of education, i.e. primary or secondary.

Where can I get more information?

If you need any further information, please speak to a member of school staff or visit the free school meal website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-freeschool-meals. Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £1,320 for your children year 1 – 6 primary or £935 for your children in year 7 – 13 secondary, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities.