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Free School Meals

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2560, tabled on 8 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to expand Free School Meal eligibility (1) to all children aged seven to 18 in households earning £20,000 per annum or less after benefits, and (2) to children that are undocumented or living in households as part of the no recourse to public funds immigration system.

Answered on

22 September 2021

Under this government, eligibility for free school meals (FSM) has been extended several times and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half a century. We think it is important that FSM support is targeted at those that need it most. FSM is an integral part of our provision for families on low incomes, and our wider actions to promote social mobility. The government is considering the recommendations in the National Food Strategy and will respond in due course.

We are currently working with departments across government to evaluate access to FSM for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the existing temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made. Guidance on this extension can be found here: