85% of primary college students take up offer of totally free school meals

The Liberal Democrats have welcomed figures displaying that 1.6 million youngsters are now consuming school dinners since the party introduced its flagship free of charge school meals policy in September.

Close to 85% of children now eat a school dinner at lunchtime, up from all around 46% below the last policy regime.

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, mentioned: “The naysayers about this policy can eat their hats, and all the leftover sprouts.”

The initiative provides totally free school dinners for all young children in principal colleges, regardless of the wealth of their mothers and fathers. The move was made to increase the diet plans of young children across the country by ensuring each and every child eats 1 sizzling, wholesome meal each and every day.

Critics of the policy have said it has led to colleges shedding out on pupil premium payments, funding well worth around £1,300 for every disadvantaged pupil every single year. Below the previous method parents employed to have to register for cost-free college meals for their youngster and colleges would then instantly obtain a pupil premium for that youngster.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, minister for schools David Laws defended the scheme saying that the most up-to-date figures on registration for pupil premiums have been not however offered and that they were making moves to get rid of the bureaucracy concerned in signing up for the payment.

The Day-to-day Mail reported that a single in 5 schoolchildren is rejecting the free of charge college meals in favour of a packed lunch since the meals are considered to be reduced top quality.

On his weekly mobile phone-in show on LBC, Clegg retorted: “The dilemma with the grumpy folk at the Every day Mail is that they picture that every packed lunch is complete of hummus and fresh succulent fruit and muesli … a lot of packed lunches aren’t in fact as great in terms of dietary value as a healthier meal shared with other children at lunchtime.”

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