For 2023/24, the National Funding Formula has allocated £480 annually on the basis of the number of pupils who are eligible for free school meals (FSM) through the ‘FSM factor’. The meal rate for universal infant FSM in 2023/24 has increased to £2.53. This represents an increase of 5% and brings funding in line with wider FSM for the first time.
The Department recognises the cost pressures that some schools and suppliers may be facing. The Department is holding regular meetings with other Government Departments and with food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies.
The Department is aware that the catering provision at St Leonard’s School has been closed due to the areas containing RAAC and will cover additional costs relating to the provision of FSM as a consequence of RAAC.