The Department for Education has issued an advice document on this subject. In summary:
What legislation does this advice relate to?
The Children and Families Bill places a legal duty on 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. Subject to Royal Assent, which is expected in March 2014, the duty will come into force from September 2014.
Who is this advice for?
This advice is for:
School leaders and governing bodies in all maintained schools, academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision with children in reception, year 1 and year 2
In the 2014 to 2015 academic year schools will be paid funding at a flat rate of £2.30 for each meal taken by newly eligible pupils. Initial provisional allocations will be based on an estimate of national take-up and then adjusted once the department has details of the actual number of meals taken in individual schools
Additional one-off funding will be provided in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to small schools (those with up to 150 pupils in total) to help with transitional costs
The government is providing £150 million of capital funding in the 2014 to 2015 financial year to support the rollout of UIFSM
Targeted advice and support will be provided to schools and local authorities through the UIFSM implementation support service.