Small funding increase for universal infant free school meals

14 June 2022
The Education Secretary has announced an increase in funding to infant free school meals of 7p.

The current funding level for universal infant free school meal provision is £2.34 per pupil per school day. The government has now announced an uplift in funding to £2.41 for the financial year 2022-23, meaning schools will receive retrospective funding for the period since April 2022.

However, the increase is only about 3%, nowhere near inflation. The new amount also does not meet the funding level set for benefits-related free school meals, which is currently around £2.47.

School food’s insufficient and inefficient funding system is one of the reasons we are calling for a root and branch review of the school food system. We urge the Secretary of State for Education to take another look at school food funding, and listen to the calls from the experts on the ground on this issue.