Clegg: Free School Meals boost attainment, improve health and ensure every child has a fair chance

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech to Liberal Democrat conference yesterday to announce that all pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from September 2014, with equivalent funding for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In addition, disadvantaged students at sixth form colleges and further education colleges in England will also be eligible for free school meals also from next September.

Money is also being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but as education is a devolved issue, it will be up to those running schools there to decide whether to spend the money on free lunches.

Free school meals were one recommendation in The School Food Plan, commissioned 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.

Henry Dimbleby took to Twitter to describe the announcement as "Amazing ground breaking news."


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