From Sept 2014 schools must provide free school meals to all infants in reception, year 1 and 2.
The Children and Families Act 2014 places a legal duty on all state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 from September 2014.
Schools will be paid £2.30 for each meal and the government has allocated £150 million to support UIFSM for 2014-15.
Schools are legally required to provide meals that comply with the School Food Standards. These standards are intended to ensure that children get the nutrition they need across the whole school day. They govern all food and drink on offer within the school and apply across the school day, including breakfast, mid-morning break, lunchtime and food served after school.
Schools will offer a hot meal, but where not possible, this will be done as soon as possible.
Special dietary requirements – details can be found on the School Food Plan’s UIFSM Toolkit
The Dept of Education Guidance can be downloaded on the link here Freeschoolmeals-1
A new set of standards for all food served in schools was launched by Education Secretary Michael Gove today 17 June 2014.
The new standards include:
- 1 or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day
- at least 3 different fruits, and 3 different vegetables each week
- an emphasis on wholegrain foods in place of refined carbohydrates
- an emphasis on making water the drink of choice:
- limiting fruit juice portions to 150mls
- restricting the amount of added sugars or honey in other drinks to 5%
- no more than 2 portions a week of food that has been deep fried, batter coated, or breadcrumb coated
- no more than 2 portions of food which include pastry each week
Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of Oxford said:
We know that children are continuing to eat too much saturated fat, sugar and salt. It is vital that the food children are offered in schools is nutritious and helps them to learn about the basics of a healthy diet.
The pilots we ran were very encouraging and clearly enabled cooks to develop nutritionally balanced menus. We saw a real boost in the variety of vegetables offered, helping to increase intakes of fibre and essential nutrients.
The new standards and supporting guidance include clear information on appropriate portion sizes to help achieve similar results and promote good practice across all schools.