Free School Meals: Primary Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether free schools meals are being offered to all pupils in the first three years of primary school in England.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We allocate £600 million per year to ensure that 1.4 million infants enjoy a free, healthy and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) policy in 2014. Now that schools are reopen to all children, those in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools will receive a free meal. During the period in which schools were largely closed, the government continued to provide support to those eligible for benefits related free school meals (FSM) through the National Voucher Scheme.

Now that schools and their kitchens are open again, we expect them to provide free school meals to all those entitled to benefits related FSM and UIFSM to those children attending school. If a child needs to miss school for COVID-19 related matters, such as self-isolation due to a case of COVID-19, then we have asked schools to provide meals to those entitled to benefits related FSM.

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