To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his Department's policy that a prematurely born child whose parents defer their child's school entry date should not be eligible for free school meals for all the years for which that child would otherwise have received free school meals; and if he will make a statement.
The government recognises the benefits of providing a healthy school meal to the most disadvantaged children and are committed to continuing to provide these meals to families in need. There exists a duty on maintained schools, academies and free schools to provide free school meals to pupils of all ages that meet the criteria. The criteria are not age related.
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.