Evaluation of universal infant free school meals

From September 2014, all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 in English state schools have been entitled to a free school lunch. Working with CooperGibson Research, the Education Policy Institute have evaluated the national implementation of Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). This report reviews previous research on the relationships between school meals, nutrition and outcomes for children. It presents the findings of school visits and surveys of school leaders, teachers, caterers and parents, exploring the implementation of UIFSM in schools and perceptions of its impact. The national costs and benefits of the policy are estimated, in order to assess its costeffectiveness as an educational intervention and to explore the financial sustainability of the policy for schools.

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