Impact assessment

Full equality impact assessment: free school meals (FSM) pilot extensions and eligibility extensions

This document details the decision not to proceed with the extension of eligibility to free school meals and with the extension of pilots of universal free school meals for primary school pupils.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



This impact assessment relates to the decision not to proceed with the extension of the current universal free school meals (FSM) pilot at primary level to a limited additional number of local authorities (from 2 at present); and the extension of free school meals eligibility to all pupils in maintained nurseries and Key Stages 1 and 2 in England, whose parents are on Working Tax Credit with household incomes of up to £16,190.

Implementation of the extension was scheduled to begin in September 2010, on a phased basis, starting with pupils in maintained nurseries and Key Stage 1. Full extension to all maintained nursery and primary pupils was planned for September 2011. Implementation was subject to the necessary funding being available and the laying of regulations before Parliament.


  • description of the policy
  • the evidence base
  • what the evidence shows - key facts
  • challenges and opportunities
Published 1 March 2012