Education: Food Poverty

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th September 2022.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of food poverty on educational attainment.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a comparative assessment of children's (a) behaviour, (b) educational outcomes and (c) obesity in areas which (i) have and (ii) have not provided free school meals for all primary school age children.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to provide free school meals to all primary school-aged children in England.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Minister of State (Education)

The provision of free school meals (FSM) to children from out-of-work families or those on low income is a top priority to the department.

The department has no current plans to conduct our own assessment of the effects of FSM for primary school pupils.

The department continues to monitor the rising cost of living, whilst working with other government departments on support surrounding this issue. The department thinks it is right that provision is aimed at supporting the most disadvantaged, those out of work or on the lowest incomes.

The department does not have any plans to extend universal provision, but we will continue to review FSM eligibility to ensure that these meals are supporting those who most need them.

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