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

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

Last reviewed on 30 August 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 11742
  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 can spend it 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 (PRUs)

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.

How your funding allocation is calculated

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

An allocation of £2.53 for each meal taken by eligible pupils The assumption that eligible pupils will take 190 school meals in the

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