Free School Meals

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 11th January 2010.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Work and Pensions Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of widening access to free school meals for children of low-income parents in 2009-10.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools)

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department of Health (DH) have jointly allocated £10 million in 2009-10 to fund three free school meal pilots, £5 million from the DCSF and £5 million from the DH. Participating local authorities and primary care trusts are contributing the same in matched funding.

The aim of the pilot is to gather some robust evidence on the health and educational benefits of extending access to free school meals. Durham and Newham are piloting universal free school meals for all primary pupils. Wolverhampton is piloting extended eligibility to primary and secondary pupils whose parents are on working tax credit and have an income up to £16,040.

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