Huge Rise in Free School Meal Provision in the Borough

Increase of 60% in secondary schools over last five years

29% of children in the borough entitled to free school meals

There has been a significant increase in the number of children on free school meals in Hammersmith & Fulham over the last five years.

In secondary schools alone it has shot up by almost 60 per cent over the same period.

The borough currently has almost 6,000 children eligible for free school meals – or nearly 29 per cent of all local pupils. This is above the national average of 22.5 per cent.

There have already been 684 applications submitted on the free school meals, school clothing grant and healthy meal allowance registration form this year so far.

The council says it has seen the application form webpage visits rise to 5,608 views this year from 2,065 views since before the Covid pandemic in 2019. And since 2017-18, the number of free school meals it is providing in secondary schools each day has soared from 1,262 to 2,007.

These numbers are expected to increase due to the cost-of-living crisis. The council has already extended the free school meal offer over half term twice and provided a universal free breakfast to every primary school pupil as well as piloting free lunches for every student in two of our secondary schools

“Our young people are really feeling the effects of these challenging times. We want our students to be fully equipped, supported and comfortable in the school day,” said Cllr Alex Sanderson, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.

“That’s why we are dedicated to providing necessities like food and uniforms which are vital to our children’s wellbeing as well as educational performance.”

Find out about your child’s eligibility for free school meals and school clothing grants and apply now here.

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Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

August 12, 2022