DfE releases list of schools successful in bidding for £20m pot of Universal Infant Free School Meal cash

DfE releases list of schools successful in bidding for £20m pot of Universal Infant Free School Meal cash

More than 120 schools have been granted government cash to further deliver the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) policy.

Last October the Department for Education (DfE) announced a £20m pot was to be made available to schools for capital projects.

It came after the roll out of UIFSM in September which meant every pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are now entitled to a free school meal.

Local authorities submitted the bids on behalf of the maintained schools and academies were unable to bid for the cash.

Releasing the names of those schools which have been successful the DfE said: “The process was competitive and funding has been allocated to the projects which demonstrated a clear need for capital to achieve the policy aims, particularly to those in schools which are currently unable to provide hot meals.

“This funding is a demonstration of the government’s continued serious commitment to UIFSM and will help to provide children with the best possible start in life, making sure every infant pupil can have a healthy meal on each school day.”

Schools were able to bid for the funding if they met one of three criteria – “require capital funding in order to provide hot meals, or in order to continue providing hot meals”; “are currently delivering UIFSM in a way that has a significant adverse impact on other areas of school life” or; “are bringing in 250 meals or more per day (for pupils of all ages) and present strong evidence that the proposed solution will improve the quality of food/increase take up”.

It said it would not announce how much money each school got so as not to “compromise” negotiations with suppliers, but said this would be published in July.

Schools are to receive the money next month.