Guidance

UIFSM: guide for local authorities and schools

How much funding schools and local authorities get to provide universal infant free school meals (UIFSM), and where schools can get advice.

All government-funded schools must offer free school meals to every pupil in:

  • reception
  • year 1
  • year 2

To provide these meals, we give funding to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies
  • free schools
  • alternative provision settings, including pupil referral units (these are establishments that provide education for children who can’t attend a mainstream school)

Revenue funding allocations

2016 to 2017 academic year

Schools will continue to receive £2.30 per meal.

See the provisional revenue funding allocations for 2016 to 2017 academic year. The total allocation is based on the average number of meals they record in the October 2016 and January 2017 school censuses.

The conditions of grant document for 2016 to 2017 gives more information on how we calculated the UIFSM funding allocation for the 2016 to 2017 academic year.

2015 to 2016 academic year

See the final revenue funding allocations for the 2015 to 2016 academic year.

We based final allocations on the average number of meals schools recorded in the October 2015 and January 2016 school censuses.

Capital funding allocations

2015 to 2016 financial year

Capital funding is the funding schools and local authorities spend on their buildings and facilities.

Local authorities can use their school maintenance and improvement budgets to help the schools they fund provide UIFSM.

We allocated an extra £10 million UIFSM capital funding in the 2015 to 2016 financial year to help schools improve their kitchen and dining facilities.

£8.5 million of this funding went to the 11 local authorities with the lowest take-up of school meals among their infant pupils.

Advice on providing UIFSM

Find advice on providing UIFSM in the online UIFSM toolkit and on the School Food Plan website.

School food standards

If your school has a responsibility to comply with the school food standards, your UIFSM meals must also comply with the standards.

The UIFSM toolkit includes advice on providing meals for pupils with special dietary needs.

Published 27 February 2015
Last updated 30 June 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on the publication of 2015 to 2016 final allocations and 2016 to 2017 provisional allocations and conditions of grant.
  2. Removed information about the UIFSM support service because it has been discontinued. Added information about the 2016 to 2017 academic year.
  3. Updated with details of UIFSM funding allocations for the 2015 to 2016 academic and financial years.
  4. Updated with funding information for 2015 to 2016
  5. Updated information about revenue funding allocations
  6. First published.