Mayor of London universal free school meals (UFSM)

Mayor of London universal free school meals (UFSM) funding has been extended to 2024-25

Claiming additional funding for Mayor of London universal free school meals (UFSM) where take-up exceeds 90% (gatekeeping news item 9 January 2024)

The Mayor of London is offering grant funding for 2023/24 school year to pay for free school meals for key stage 2 pupils at state schools who do not qualify for Government-funded income-related free school meals.

Funding is paid to the Local Authority for distribution to schools.

Information from the Mayor's office

Deputy Mayor UFSM letter to headteachers 10 July 2023
Includes programme update, letter to parents and resources available on the schools hub.

Mayor of London UFSM letter to parents and carers July 2023
Letter for schools to distribute to families with children in KS2 in your school.

Schools hub: Guidance and support for schools
Information, guidance and resources to support schools to expand the delivery of free school meals to all their pupils.

Here are further details on emergency universal free school meal provision

The Mayor's office has released information on UFSM grant allocations, funding flows, grant conditions and principles

Letter to headteachers on Mayor of London universal free school meals (UFSM) (26 May 2023)

About the funding

The Mayor estimates that the funding will help around 270,000 primary school children and save families around £440 per child across the year.

As well as saving families hundreds of pounds per child, making free school meals available to all helps reduce the stigma that can be associated with being singled out as low income, therefore boosting take-up among families who need them most.

The meals are also good for children’s health as they may be the child’s main source of hot, nutritious food. By ensuring they don’t go hungry, children are better equipped to learn.

What happens next?

The LA:

  • Intends to accept the grant offer and encourages schools to work with their catering providers to offer the meals
  • Will shortly issue some suggested content for parent communications
  • Is working with ESCC and PFI caterers regarding implementation planning.

Schools that use other caterers should work with their provider to put arrangements in place.


Mayor’s UFSM Scaling Up webinar with advice on delivering the additional meal numbers - 25 May 2023 (pdf)

UFSM good practice webinar - School kitchens, Friday 30 June 2023, 1 - 2pm. Register via Eventbrite


This page will be regularly updated with new resources as they are made available.


Please contact the following if you require any further information:

ESCC – ISS directly or, if concerns: Lauren North

PFI – catering provider directly or, if concerns: Yacoba Godwyll

Own arrangement – notify the LA of concerns regarding delivery: Tanuj Danee

Was this page useful? 
Last updated: 19 Jan 2024