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Last reviewed on 5 May 2021
Ref: 9183
School types: All · School phases: All

Mainstream schools should use their core budget allocations to provide FSM to pre-16 pupils, but you'll also receive the FSM supplementary grant for the 2020-2021 financial year. Find out how much you'll get and learn how FSM are funded in special schools and for post-16 pupils.

Pre-16 funding is not specifically designated for FSM

Maintained schools and academies don't receive funding specifically designated for free school meals (FSM). You should use the funds available in your school’s budget to cover the cost of the meals.

This is because disadvantaged pupils already attract additional funding through school funding formulas, in recognition of the extra costs schools bear in supporting them (including the cost of providing FSM).

You don’t have to spend a specific amount of your school’s funding on providing FSM.

You also don’t have to spend all of the additional funding allocated through local funding formula deprivation factors on FSM.

The Department for Education (DfE) explained this to us.

FSM supplementary grant during Universal Credit roll-out transition period

Because the school

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