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Free School Meals on track for Autumn

April 8, 2014 12:43 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

From September this year, all children between the ages of five and seven will receive free school meals, regardless of family income.

Despite strong opposition from Tory backbenchers, the Liberal Democrats have fought to deliver free lunches in schools which will improve the lives of many children, as well as saving families £437 a year. Many studies have found that nutritious meals at school improve pupils' health, behaviour, concentration and their overall wellbeing. It makes a real difference in the classrooms, and these findings have been backed by the Department of Education and the Department of Health.

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The Liberal Democrats have reiterated today that all schools will be provided with the necessary support and funding to prepare them to provide free meals. £150 million is going towards improving kitchens and dining facilities, as well as an additional £22.5 to help smaller schools. Schools will be given more time if necessary, and an advice line is being set up to provide individual schools with practical support.

Free school meals will provide all children with the best possible start in life, giving them the future that they deserve. It will help to level out the playing field, giving poorer children a much better opportunity to fulfil their potential.