universal free school meals

23-01-2014

A ministerial letter has today been sent to all primary head teachers regarding universal free school meals. It includes the points below:

  • As a signal of our commitment to universal infant free school meals, we are announcing today our intention to amend the Children and Families Bill, which is currently before Parliament, to place a legal duty on primary schools to offer free meals to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 from this September. The legislation will also include a power to extend the policy to additional year groups in future. Existing entitlements to free school meals for disadvantaged pupils in nursery classes and at key stages 2-4 will continue as now.
  • We have also announced today how revenue funding for this policy will be allocated
    in 2014-15. After discussion with schools, caterers and local authorities, we have
    decided that the fairest approach is to allocate schools a flat rate of £2.30 per meal
    taken, based on actual take-up by newly eligible infant pupils, which will be
    measured in the Schools Census from next year. In addition, we recognise that
    some smaller schools will face particular challenges. We will therefore be providing
    transitional funding totalling £22.5million in 2014-15 to small schools, which will be
    provided before the start of the new academic year

The full letter can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-letter-about-universal-infant-free-school-meals