Best Practice

Will the FSM expansion threaten Pupil Premium?

The announcement of free school meals for all key stage 1 children was greeted positively by most. However, as we draw closer to its implementation, the implications of this new legislation seem to go far beyond kitchen capacity.

The Children and Families Act legislation will ensure that our youngest pupils will have access to at least one healthy meal at lunchtime.

That every pupil in reception, year 1 and year 2 should be entitled to a free school dinner sounds ideal. Welcome news too that £150 million should be made available for schools to expand their kitchen and dining facilities.

But behind the headlines some schools are facing organisational complications and concerns were quickly raised about schools’ capacity to cope. While working out the catering practicalities, other issues are also rapidly emerging. Would parents still register for free school meals (FSMs) if their children were eligible anyway?

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