Harlington School is committed to healthy eating and is proud of the excellent school meal service which is delivered by Chartwells. The school has been awarded the Healthy School Silver Status. The dining room has a café style layout and a cashless payment system. Students may bring in their own food if they so wish but the school encourages students to eat healthy packed lunches.

Please note that we will confiscate and dispose of ‘energy drinks’ such as Red Bull, Monster or similar from students due to the detrimental effect on children’s behaviour and health. Water is always available and will be provided if an energy drink is confiscated.

The following is a general guide to the food on offer in the Dining Hall:

  • There is a meat and a vegetarian hot food choice served every day as well as jacket potatoes, pasta dishes, paninis and a hot pudding.
  • Fish and chips are served every Friday, along with other hot choices.
  • There is a choice of Halal and Non Halal meat dishes every day – all chicken dishes are offered as Halal and Non Halal; other meats are Non Halal unless clearly specified on the day of serving.
  • Our cold food offer includes sandwiches, wraps, baguettes and rolls. A choice of cheese, egg, ham, tuna and chicken fillings are usually available. We also have fruit, cakes and salads and a wide range of bottled water, fruit juice or milk-based drinks is available. Jugs of water and a water fountain are available at no charge.

Students in Years 7 – 11 are not permitted to leave Harlington School premises at break or lunchtime to buy food or to go home. We do not permit takeaway food to be brought in to school, delivered or consumed on the premises, including by the Sixth Form. It will be confiscated and disposed of without a refund.

Paying for School Lunches

All students pay for their food via a biometric cashless system. Parents may top up their child’s account online using ParentMail or students may use cash to top-up their account at the machine. Free School Meal accounts are topped up automatically each day, but students cannot ‘carry forward’ their FSM allowance.

Free School Meals

If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, they get £2.35 per day for lunch which can buy a 2-course hot dinner or a sandwich meal deal. Due to our cashless dining system, no child who has free school meals can be identified which avoids any possible embarrassment. Apart from the last day of every term, students are able to use their Free School Meal allowance at lunchtime, not at break-time.

Many families are eligible for free school meals. You must be receiving 1 of the following benefits to claim free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income of £16,190 or less, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and
  • Customs
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you receive).

Children who get paid these benefits directly (instead of through a parent/guardian) can also receive free school meals.

In view of the current financial climate there may be families who have never claimed the free school meal entitlement previously. If your circumstances change, you may wish to check to see if you are eligible for Free School Meals by logging onto the website Our Finance Team are also well-acquainted with the paperwork required and will be pleased to help process your application or answer any questions you may have. Please also note that should your circumstances change at any point in the year, free school meals can be claimed.

Did you know? If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, they not only get £2.35 per day for lunch (but you can also claim for discounts on school trip costs and extra-curricular events such as music lessons?