At the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow last week, I heard the good news that all pupils at infant schools in England are to receive free school lunches from September 2014.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech to Liberal Democrat conference to make the formal announcement. In addition, disadvantaged students at sixth form colleges and FE colleges in England will also be eligible from next September. Money is also being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, should their devolved parliaments choose to spend the money on free lunches.
Free school meals were one recommendation in The School Food Plan, commisioned by the Government and launched in July by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. They found that in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers.
Nick Clegg said:
“Teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits. Universal free school meals will help give every child the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and fairer society.”
In closing the Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow, Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg re-emphasized the impact the Liberal Democrats are having in Government. Click here for a copy of his full speech.