Saturday 26 October 2019

Brent to devise a strategy for universal free school meals for primary pupils

Free school meals for all primary pupils in Islington - so why not in Brent?
Leader of Brent Council, Muhammed Butt, told a recent meeting of Brent Central Constituency Labour Party that council officers have been instructed to prepare a comprehensive strategy to provide free school meals for the 13,000 Brent primary pupils who do not currently receive them.

The strategy will draw on the experience of four London boroughs who already provide  free school meals to all primary children and will investigate a number of possible funding streams.

Graham Durham, a Brent CLP supporter of the proposal, has requested that the strategy and implementation dates be set out before the November CLP meetings.

Universal Free School Meals directly address issues of hunger and poor nutrition in children of low income families but also serve to remove any lingering social stigma associated with 'free dinners.' They ensure a steady income stream for school caterers and remove the school's administrative burden of collecting 'dinner money' and chasing up debts. The provision of a hot nutritious daily meal also aids a pupil's concentration in class contributing to closing the gap between the educational attainment of poor and better off pupils.

An  Islington Council paper setting out the issues can be found HERE

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