Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM): eligibility and funding

Find out how your school is funded for providing universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) and the rules on spending the grant.

Last reviewed on 16 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: Primary
Ref: 11742
Contents
  1. All reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils are eligible
  2. How your funding allocation is calculated
  3. The money is divided into 2 payments 
  4. You may spend the grant on more than school meals

All reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils are eligible

This applies to state-funded schools. The school types covered are:

  • Maintained schools
  • Academies
  • Free schools
  • Alternative provision settings, including pupil referral units

When do we need to provide a meal?

You have a duty to provide universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) to all eligible pupils every school day, either in-school or at another location where you're providing education (for example, a trip on a school day).

UIFSM provision only applies to lunch

You're not expected to provide evening meals. You don't have to provide lunch on non-school days, including school trips over holidays.

The DfE confirmed this for us.

How your funding allocation is calculated

The UIFSM grant is paid in 2 parts, based on 2 calculations.

A cost of £2.34 for each meal taken by eligible pupils, and The assumption that eligible pupils will take 190 school meals