Free school meals

Free School Meals in London: Mayor Khan Announces £140m Plan for 2024/25

The Mayor of London has unveiled plans to extend his groundbreaking free school meals policy into the 2024/25 academic year.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £140 million of investment to provide free meals from September 2024 meaning that, for a second year running, all primary-aged children in London will be able to receive a school dinner each day.

PSE Half and half

Since the programme’s introduction in September 2023, more than 287,000 children have received over 17 million meals. Commenting on the plan, Khan said:

“Delivering free school meals has been one of my proudest moments as Mayor as I have seen the difference it has made to the children receiving them and to their families.

“I am thrilled to announce my intention to extend this lifeline for families for yet another year.”

In response to the announcement, Newham Council posted on

A report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the National Education Union has also shown that the programme improves financial and psychological security for parents, with YouGov reporting that 30% of parents or carers of children under 18 are “financially struggling”. The new funding will offer boroughs in the capital £3 per meal, which is 18.5% higher than the £2.53 offered by the Government. Nikita Sinclair, Head of Children’s Health and Food Programme at Impact on Urban Health, said:

“Free school meals remain a key way to ensure all children receive the nutrition they need to learn and thrive in school, and to support households under financial pressure.

“Children across the country deserve the same chance – national government needs to follow suit and urgently expand entitlement to free school meals.”

This announcement is the latest in a string of investments into supporting Londoners through the cost-of-living crisis, with £3.46 billion already invested into affordable housing in the capital and £400 million invested into skills and employment programmes to help citizens secure jobs.


Image credit: iStock


PSE April/ May 2024

Alarming decline in UK costal water quality

Dive into our latest edition for April/May 2024!


More articles...

View all
Online Conference


2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of public sector leaders responsible for procurement and strategy across local authorities and the wider public sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for leaders of industry to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation.

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within the public sector

From government policies and public administration to education, healthcare, and infrastructure, we explore the challenges and innovations shaping our communities.


Join us as we speak with industry leaders, policymakers, and frontline professionals, providing you with valuable insights and perspectives to stay informed and engaged with the issues that matter most.