Gove outlines funding for universal free school meals plans
23/12/2013 - 09:38

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced details of the investment his department plans to fund the introduction of universal free school meals for infant schoolchildren which is due to start in September 2014.

He said: “As part of the Autumn Statement the Chancellor confirmed £150m of capital funding for improving school kitchen and dining facilities in order to offer every infant pupil (reception plus years one and two) a free, nutritious school meal at lunchtime.

“Universal free school meals for primary school pupils were a key recommendation of the independent School Food Plan produced for the department by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent in July 2013.

“The aim is to improve academic attainment and healthy eating, and save families money.”

* Meanwhile the latest figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on free school meal uptake show that the number of pupils who qualify for the entitlement but do not claim it has dropped from 14% in 2012 to 11% in 2013.

HMRC says the explanation is a drop in the number of pupils entitled combined with a slight increase in uptake from those that do qualify.

Any pupil living in a household that claims one or more benefits is entitled to free school meals.