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Universal Infant Free School Meals Support and Advice Service

06 Mar 2014

LACA is delighted to be working with the Children’s Food Trust to help infant and primary schools get ready to provide free school lunches to all infant pupils from September 2014.

What is it?

From September 2014 all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England will receive free school meals. The government made this decision after a recommendation in the School Food Plan.

In addition to the revenue and capital funding made available by the government, the Department for Education has provided funding for a support service, including a national advice line, to help infant and primary schools get ready to provide free school lunches to all infant pupils. We’re delighted to be jointly leading this support with CFT (Children’s Food Trust). We’re also working with a group of delivery partners to make sure schools get the specialist advice they need.

What do we offer?

Our advice service is available to all schools, local authorities, academy trusts and caterers who are directly involved in providing universal infant free school meals. The advice service includes on-line information, a forum and a telephone helpline for schools and caterers to receive up-to-date details of the policy, advice on practical issues and find out where to access further support.

Those schools facing the greatest challenges in delivering UIFSM, may be eligible for direct support such as a face to face visit from a school food expert, partnering up with ‘What Works Well’ school or ongoing telephone advice. All the support is adapted to tackle the particular challenges of each school, giving a personal service.

If you work in school food and will be affected by the introduction of UIFSM, please see below as to whether our advice service or direct support may be able to help.

Are you from an infant or primary school that, or if you work in or with an infant or primary school that:
Currently have low numbers of pupils eating school meals
Provide only packed lunches
Employ a school cook directly
Work in a small school and  struggle to make the school meal service break even
Work in a very large school, and have problems struggling to cope
Prepare and transport school meals to other schools (known as ‘production kitchens’)

You may be eligible for direct support. If so click here for more information.

Following the success of the phase one Roadshows in the spring and summer terms.  Further Learning Workshops have been developed to run from the end of September 2014 to through October 2014 to consider case studies following the implementation of Universal Infant Free School Meals, look at what has worked well, network with leading industry suppliers as well as attend and participate in informative workshops.  The current programme is:

29th September  North West -  Barcelo Imperial Hotel, Blackpool

30th September West Midlands – Three Counties Showground, near Worcester

6th October North East –Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham

7th October Yorkshire & Humberside – Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Sheffield

8th October East Midlands – Leicester Tigers, Leicester

9th October East of England – Newmarket Racecourse, Newmarket

14th October South West – Exeter Racecourse, Exeter

15th October South East – Newbury Racecourse

16th October London – West Ham United Football Club, Upton Park, London

More information on the roadshows is available here