Paying for refreshments out of the school budget

Understand the rules on using school funds to pay for staff food and drink and see examples of others schools' policies.

Last reviewed on 22 October 2021
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 7530
  1. You decide whether to fund refreshments
  2. Example policies 

You decide whether to fund refreshments

There are no specific rules on using the school budget to fund refreshments for staff. However: 

  • Maintained schools: you'll need to follow any guidance from your LA on the use of school funds
  • Academies: you'll need to speak to your trust and follow your funding agreement. Note: another of our articles explains that you can't use school funds to buy alcohol

A DfE representative gave us this advice. 

Consider whether it's an appropriate use of school funding.

Take into account your school's context to consider whether it's an appropriate use of school funding. 

For example, if a school is in a deprived area and school teachers are comparatively well-paid, providing refreshments for staff may not be seen as an appropriate use of school funds. Likewise, a struggling school may not be able to justify spending on refreshments if the money could be better spent on improving teaching and learning.

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