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Free School Meals

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pupils took up free school meals in England and Wales in each year since 2015.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Department for Education publishes figures for the number of pupils taking a free school meal on the day of the January census in schools in England. The figures from 2014/15 to 2018/19 are shown in the table below. All infant pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM) under the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) policy. Meals delivered under the universal eligibility are presented separately in the table. ‘FSM eligible meals taken’ includes those infant pupils who would already have been eligible for FSM under the income-related criteria.

FSM

UIFSM

Academic year

FSM eligible

FSM taking a meal on census day

UIFSM meals taken

2014/15

1,195,600

1,000,200

1,375,300

2015/16

1,142,000

926,600

1,417,700

2016/17

1,128,400

899,000

1,466,200

2017/18

1,106,600

872,700

1,472,900

2018/19

1,270,900

1,000,900

1,433,700

Free school meals provision in Wales and the associated data is the responsibility of the administration in Wales.

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