Universal Primary Free School Meals (UPFSM)

A dedicated area for latest news and resources regarding the Mayor of London’s funding for primary free school meals from September 2023

What are the changes and which pupils are affected?

The Mayor is to provide funding to London Boroughs to offer free school meals (FSM) to all primary aged children for the next academic year (starting September 2023) who aren’t currently eligible.

Therefore the Mayor’s policy and funding will focus on pupils in Y3-Y6 who aren’t currently eligible for free school meals.

We currently estimate this cohort to be 40% of all primary aged pupils in Waltham Forest based on the latest census data from schools.

When are the changes to take affect?

The start of the next academic year in September 2023. 

How much is the funding?

Price per meal funding is £2.65 with an assumed take-up of 90%. The funding is for food and associated administration (including LA costs) – NOT capital.

What learning do we have from Local Authorities that have undertaken similar policies?

All experienced an increased uptake of meals across all primary year groups when they pursued a similar policy. This included an increased uptake of those already able to obtain a free meal via Universal Infant Free Schools Meals (UIFSM)  funding.  Take-up across all primary pupils for a free meal increased to the 80% - 90% range in these two LAs.  This will obviously have consequences for schools and their catering providers around the possible need for extra staffing, refreshing equipment and space/capacity implications.

Who should I contact if I want further information?

If you have any questions, please contact andy.ruane@walthamforest.gov.uk UFSM Project Manager.

Further information about UPFSM

Downloads about UPFSM

Procurement of catering services information

From the Mayor of London.


Scaling up meals provision

UPFSM experience from Newham. From the Mayor of London.


Free school meal registration and pupil premium

From the Mayor of London.


Initial letter to Headteacher

From Waltham Forest Council


Update letter to Headteacher

From Waltham Forest Council

Last update: Wednesday 26th of July 2023 12:22:36 PM