Universal credit and free school meals

25 Apr 2018

The universal credit letter to schools (see download below) explains how the roll out of universal credit in Ealing will affect free school meals eligibility.

Key points for schools

There will be transitional protection for pupils receiving free school meals.

To ensure that existing recipients of free school meals do not lose entitlement, pupils will be protected until 31 March 2022.

  • Any pupil eligible for free school meals before 1 April 2018 will keep their entitlement until 31 March 2022, even if their parent’s circumstances change
  • In addition, any pupil gaining eligibility for free school meals during the rollout of universal credit (1 April 2018 – 31 March 2022) will keep their eligibility until 31 March 2022
  • Once the rollout of universal credit has been completed (31 March 2022) any losing pupil will continue to be transitionally protected until the end of their current phase of education, (e.g. primary/secondary school)
  • Schools should flag pupils as “protected pupils” in their management information systems as this will be needed for school census returns.

All protected pupils will be identified on your free school meals list.

Please note: due to the transitional protection, eligibility for free school meals will now be pupil based and no longer family based and you may have cases of one sibling entitled to free school meals and the other not entitled.

Further information

Further information on universal credit (GOV.UK)


For any questions or queries please contact:

Lynda Daly
Principal pupil support officer
Tel: 020 8825 5566

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Last updated: 26 Apr 2018

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