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Southwark KS2 Free Healthy School Meals

Funding for Free Healthy School Meals (FHSM) in Southwark will rise from £1.90 to £2.41 per meal from September 2022.  This is a £0.51 per meal increase, and is inclusive of a recently agreed 7p extra to support caterers with rising costs.

Southwark Council have committed to aligning the price per meal of Free Healthy School Meals (FHSM) with national Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) funding policy.

The increased funding rate will support you to continue to provide a nutritious and quality school lunch for every primary aged child in your school and to pay the London Living Wage to catering staff as part of Southwark Council’s Fairer Future Procurement commitments.

Alongside this increase in funding, we are introducing some mandatory grant conditions for all primary schools which will help Southwark Council ensure the FHSM programme remains sustainable. The detail of the new grant conditions is set out below. They will apply from September 2022.

Conditions of FHSM grant

  1. Schools to submit take up rates for Key Stage 2 twice a year (at the same time as reporting Key Stage 1 for census day).
  2. The grant is only payable to schools if they participate in the Free Healthy School Meals programme and provide school meals, free of charge, to Non-Eligible Free School Meals pupils within Key Stage 2.
  3. The grant must be spent on provision of school lunch.
  4. All school lunches provided must meet the requirements of the National School Food Standards.
  5. Schools must meet the requirements of Southwark Council’s healthy dessert policy.
  6. Schools must meet the requirements of Southwark Council’s water only primary school policy.
  7. Schools must pay all directly employed catering staff the London Living Wage. For schools currently using a third party catering provider, the provider must be instructed to pay the London Living Wage to all employees working on the contract at the earliest opportunity allowed by the contractual terms and conditions.
  8. Furthermore, when going out to tender for a school meals catering provider, any new provider must adhere to the following requirements: the provider must, to all employees working on this contract, pay the London Living wage, as a minimum; all new employees, hired by the provider, to work on this contract must be paid London Living wage, as a minimum.
  9. School and their catering provider must participate in all evaluations or reviews of the Free Healthy School Meals provision, when requested.

Southwark Council, through the Southwark School Meals System Transformation Programme, will periodically review if schools are meeting the FHSM grant condition requirements.  This may take the form of: in-person visits to schools from the School Food Improvement Officer, Environmental Health inspections, completing further transformation programme school meal questionnaires or returning simple reporting templates.

If you have any questions about these grant conditions, please get in touch with the School Food Improvement Officer, Gillian Boundy at