Children: Poverty

Department for Education written question – answered on 19th September 2017.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing an initiative similar to the Welsh Government's initiative to tackle children's hunger in school holidays.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Department for Education)

The Government will monitor the impact of the Welsh Government’s introduction of the holiday ‘lunch and fun’ scheme.

Whilst it is parents who, primarily, are responsible for the health and welfare of their children, we recognise the benefits of providing a healthy school meal to the most disadvantaged children and we are committed to continuing to provide free school meals to those families that need them.

In addition, all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England's state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, are entitled to free school meals. (Universal Infant Free School Meals)

This Government is committed to ensuring that the welfare system is a strong safety net for those that need it; that is why it continues to spend over £90 billion a year on benefits for people of working age.

Work remains the best route out of poverty and we are introducing major reforms including Universal Credit to strengthen incentives for parents to move into and progress in work.

This Government’s policies means that there are now 608,000 fewer children in workless households compared with 2010.

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