An extra 1.3 million infants now eating free school meals

December 18, 2014 12:01 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

1.3m schoolchildren across England are now enjoying a free school lunch thanks to Liberal Democrats in government.

Figures out today (December 18) show that the policy has had a very high uptake in its first three months, with a total of more than 1.6m children enjoying a school meal every lunchtime.


Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

"Well over a million and a half infants are enjoying a school meal at lunchtime, giving them a better start to afternoon lessons and a healthy boost for their first years in school.

"The other good news for families is that this saves them up to £400 per child a year on the cost of a packed lunch.

"The naysayers about this policy can eat their hats, and all the leftover sprouts."

Free school meals help boost learning and save parents money.

With the equivalent of 85 per cent of infants now tucking into a free school lunch. Across England more than 25,000 turkeys and 9.8m sprouts are being served up for Christmas school lunches.

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws said:

"Christmas marks the end of a first successful term of delivering universal infant free school meals, and it is testament to the efforts put in by school staff, caterers and local authorities that more children all over England are enjoying the benefits of a great tasting, nutritional meal at lunch.

"Free school meals save parents money and ensure children are focused and able to concentrate throughout the day. Now we want to ​encourage more schools to focus on quality, and continue building on the huge steps we have already made since September."