The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department of Health (DH) have jointly allocated £10 million in 2009-10 to fund three free school meal pilots, £5 million from the DCSF and £5 million from the DH. Participating local authorities and primary care trusts are contributing the same in matched funding.
The aim of the pilot is to gather some robust evidence on the health and educational benefits of extending access to free school meals. Durham and Newham are piloting universal free school meals for all primary pupils. Wolverhampton is piloting extended eligibility to primary and secondary pupils whose parents are on working tax credit and have an income up to £16,040.