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Healthy Eating News

West London schools pilot free school meals scheme for all pupils

In the U.K, children attending school with parents or guardians receiving income support can become eligible for free school meals from the government. Ensuring that all children, regardless of their families’ income have access to a nutritionally balanced meal compliant with the school food standards.

However, there are many pupils that are not claiming the free school meal they are entitled to, meaning some children may go hungry, or there may be some parents’ spending money on their child’s lunch when they could get this for free.

According to the guardian, officials say the threshold for free school meals is too high and the stigma associated with claiming a free school meal creates a significant barrier if the school does not have an appropriate procedure in place to ensure pupils receiving a free school meal cannot be identified by their peers.

In recognition of the issues associated with free school meals, from September, two schools in West London will be the first in the country to offer free school meals, including breakfast to all pupils regardless of their parents or guardians income. It is expected that around 10,700 children will benefit from the pilot.

We understand the importance of ensuring every child has access to a nutritionally balanced meal in school, as for many pupils this can be their main source of energy throughout the day.
Our brand new ‘Free School Meals’ toolkit, available to pre-order soon, ensures staff are informed to support families that are eligible to receive free school meals, provides the resources to promote the free school meals scheme in school and the relevant forms and external support needed to guide families through the process of claiming their entitlement.

For more information, or to pre-order the free school meals toolkit, please contact: schoolwellbeing@leeds.gov.uk

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