Food for Life survey finds 80% of schools are ‘very concerned’ about the potential withdrawal of UIFSM

Food for Life UIFSM survey

Following the publication of the Conservative Party manifesto proposing the withdrawal of Universal Infant Free School Meals, Food for Life has conducted a survey of UK schools, asking how the potential withdrawal of the policy will impact their pupils and lunch service.

The key findings included:

  • Almost 80% of schools surveyed are very concerned about the impact that the potential withdrawal of Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) may have on their overall school lunch service.  Less than 3% of schools are unconcerned.

  • 37% of all respondents are afraid that their school kitchen might have to close altogether if UIFSM is withdrawn. For schools with in-house catering and less than 200 pupils, this figure rises to 47%

  • 91% of respondents believe that pupil health and nutrition would be impacted by the potential withdrawal of UIFSM.

  • Contrary to research from Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Educational Endowment Foundation on pupil attainment, 59% of schools surveyed believed that pupil attainment would be negatively impacted by the potential withdrawal of UIFSM, and 60% believed that pupil behaviour would be impacted.

  • 97% of respondents do not believe that an offer of a free breakfast for all primary school pupils represents a good alternative to free school lunches for all infants. 75% of schools already have a breakfast club: amongst these schools, the equivalent figure is also 97% (so, even amongst schools already offering breakfast, less than 3% believe that extending breakfast to all pupils and making it free represents a good alternative to UIFSM).

Click here to read the full report.