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  1. 1. Eligibility (years 3 and above)
  2. 2. Universal provision
  3. 3. Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme
  4. 4. Pupil premium

Universal provision

The UK government funds free school meals for children in England who are attending a state school, free school, or academy.

Free school meals are provided universally to all children in England who are in reception, year 1, and year 2.

Some councils may provide free school meals universally for children in all primary school years, so the local policy should be checked in the first instance. Search for a council’s policy.

In London, during the school year 2023-24, free school meals are being provided at state-funded primary schools to children in all years. These are being funded by the Mayor of London

Free school meals are not classed as a 'public fund' for immigration purposes. When free school meals are provided universally, children can receive these regardless of their, or their parent's, immigration status.

Different arrangements apply for children in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Find out about free school meals in Scotland

Find out about free school meals in Wales

Find out about free school meals in Northern Ireland