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.

Are other indicators in Arbor 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.


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 these 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.

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