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'Free School Meals' for primary pupils in London

Updated: 17/5/2023

Colleagues have brought an announcement from the London Mayor to our attention.

Mayor announces every London primary schoolchild to receive free school meals | London City Hall

Colleagues have also asked the DfE for advice and we await more formal clarification.

From our reading of the announcement, this is effectively funding the meals for primary pupils who do not currently have their school meal funded. The priority of funding would be:

  1. Entitlement free school meals (eFSM)
  2. Universal Infant FSM (UIFSM)
  3. Mayoral FSM

Each of these may be funded from different pots and potentially at different rates. eFSM is part of pupil premium entitlement hence it is important that parents continue to claim and schools continue to record eFSM. Schools should not record Mayoral Free Meals as FSM in SIMS.

Schools should obtain advice from their catering solution provider as to how best to accommodate the policy within their system.  

This item will be updated as and when we receive further information.