Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) allocations for 2024 to 2025 

25th Jun 2024

ESFA has announced that the decision on the 2024 to 2025 academic year universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) funding rate has been delayed due to the pre-election period. New policies or funding rates cannot be announced in this period.

It has been confirmed that ESFA will issue the allocations for the first 2024 to 2025 payments on Monday, 24 June, using the 2023 to 2024 academic year UIFSM funding rate. The first 2024 to 2025 payments will be made on Friday, 28 June , for local authorities and Monday, 8 July , for academies. Final UIFSM funding rates for 2024 to 2025 will be confirmed after the election.

Final allocations and payments for the current (2023 to 2024) academic year will also proceed as planned, with final allocations to be issued on Monday 24 June, and payments to be made on Friday 28 June for local authorities and Monday 8 July for academies.

Free School Meal Funding

It should be noted that benefit-based FSM funding (not UIFSM) is paid through core funding allocated to schools. Academies will find this allocation included in their General Annual Grant (GAG) allocation statement and for LA maintained schools, details will be included in the Schools Block allocation. The FSM factor of the National Funding Formula accounts for the costs associated with making such provision however this funding is not ringfenced and schools are free to manage their own budgets based on local need.