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Free School Meals is a “Good News Story”

July 2, 2014 9:02 AM
Originally published by Leicestershire Liberal Democrats
School Dinner

Children under 7 will be offered free school meals from next September.

Liberal Democrats on Leicestershire County Council have praised the Council for its work towards delivering free school meals across the County from next September. The policy, announced by the DPM Nick Clegg last year, followed recommendations from the "School Food Plan" that free school meals would lead to improvements in health, attainment and social cohesion. The free meals are expected to save the average family £417 per year.

Lib Dem Childrens and Families Spokesperson Geoff Welsh said "Research shows that proper nutrition can make a significant difference to the success and wellbeing of children at school.

This policy will both save parents money while boosting the achievements of their children at school. I thoroughly welcome it."

Council officers have confirmed that through careful planning, effective working and investing over £800,000 of capital funding provided by the government in upgrading catering facilities in Leicestershire schools, they are on track to deliver the extra 13,000 meals, a total of 35,000 meals per day by the time the scheme rolls out in September, creating over 200 new jobs. It's very different picture to the one painted by the former Tory adviser who in national papers called the project a "bad gimmick".

Lib Dem Group leader Simon Galton said "The County Council officers have done a fantastic job in approaching these challenges. They are on track to deliver 35,000 high quality healthy meals to Leicestershire children.

The success of free school meals is a good news story for parents and children in Leicestershire. It's baffling that Gove's ex-advisor seems so keen to talk it down."

Children in Years 1, 2 and reception classes will all be receiving free school meals from September onwards.