London Boroughs free school meals for KS2

The Mayor of London has announced that all primary age students in state-funded schools in London will get free school meals in the 2023/24 academic year.

What are the changes?

In September, students in Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) in schools in London will all receive free school meals. These are not referred to as UFSM, as the scheme is in London only and not universally applied across the country.

The funding for these will come to your school from your Borough. As systems for recording and reporting figures of meals taken will vary according to Borough, please contact them for further guidance on what they require.

Is the current UFSM indicator changing?

Currently, students in Key Stage 1 (Reception up to Year 2) receive Free School Meals as part of the Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) policy. This is automatically applied to students in Arbor: Set a student as Universal Free School Meals (UFSM)

This process is not changing.

For census, you will still only record UFSM children who have taken a lunch.

Is the current FSM indicator changing?

FSM (which feeds into Pupil Premium) recording for all children has not changed.

Students who are eligible for standard FSM should be recorded as such, with an open period of FSM eligibility to be returned in the school census: Adding Free School Meal (FSM) Eligibility

How do we log the new free meals in Arbor?

As this is not a DfE scheme for all schools, we aren't currently implementing product changes for this feature, but we may in the future. As such, there isn't a specific area to record these students.

You may wish to set up a User Defined Field (UDF) to log whether students are in receipt of this or not.

Meal prices

If your school uses Arbor to manage meals, you would need to adjust the costs for your Year 3 up to Year 6 students to avoid debts being created. Follow these instructions to set the prices to £0.00: Changing the price of a meal during the year

Please note: If some students should still be charged, you'll need to set different meal prices for different student groups. You can do this for year groups, or you can set up a Custom Group and add the new FSM children to this group.

Reporting on these meals

Click the link at the bottom of this article to download the report template. Do not open the template. You can then import it into your site by following these instructions: Importing a report

  • This will give you a full report of the number of meals taken for each year group in KS2 (Year 3 up to Year 6 students), plus overall figures.
  • The date taken is the 18 January 2024, in line with the guidance here: Claiming additional funding for meals uptake above 90 per cent
  • It excludes students that would already be receiving free school meals as this is already paid for by the government.

Top Tip: The Meal invoice amount column is there to help you check you've got your meal prices set up correctly. These should show 0 as these are free - if they don't, you might need to amend your meal prices.

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Top Tip: Until the day of 18th January, this report will be blank, as shown below.

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What do we need to do with this report?

The Guidance and support for schools details that "The funding allocations have been made with an assumed 90 percent uptake. Boroughs will have the opportunity to secure additional funding if they are able to evidence that uptake of the scheme has been higher."

This report can be used to help support a claim to be submitted to the Greater London Authority (GLA).

How do we change the date?

To change the date to the 13th March 2024, or to any other date required, click Edit. Click to edit any of the report columns, filters or groupings that reference a specific date.

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Percentage uptake overall

You can use the report to find out how many of the meals taken that day (where it was not already a regular FSM meal) were provided by this programme. To see your percentage uptake of meals, you'll need to find the total eligible, and total taken meals figures.

To find the total eligible, find the total number of provisions excluding Absent meal types.

  1. Edit your report
  2. Add a filter for Meal provision.
  3. In the slide over, select Is not one off... Absent, then click Save.
  4. Save and view your report.
  5. The Sum number at the bottom of your report will be the total meals taken.

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To find the total taken, find the total number of provisions excluding Absent and any other meal types that aren't provided by the school (such as packed lunch).

  1. Edit your report.
  2. Edit the Meal provision filter.
  3. In the slide over, add any other provisions not provided by the school, then click Save.
  4. Save and view your report.
  5. The Sum number at the bottom of your report will be the total meals taken.

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Finally, divide your total taken by total eligible, and multiply by 100 to find the percentage.

In the example above, this would be 15/19 = 79%.


Percentage uptake by year

To see your percentage uptake for a certain year group, just edit your filters to only look at certain year groups, and then follow the same instructions as above.

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