Following our call with cross-sector partners for Government to support the health and development of our children by expanding access to Free School Meals, the National School Breakfast Programme, and the Healthy Start Scheme, we are pleased to see today’s announcement on free school meals from the Mayor of London.
The extension of free school meals to every primary school child in London will benefit all children and families living in the city, particularly those facing disadvantage and insecurity as the rising cost-of-living crisis continues to stretch inequalities across London and the UK.
Whilst the scheme will support an extra 100,000 children in London who live in poverty but do not already receive free school meals, there are over 700,000 additional children across the UK who are living in poverty but will still not have access to this vital lifeline.
With all primary school students in Scotland and Wales to be provided with free school meals by the end of 2024, Government must end the postcode lottery for families in England and expand access to free school meals for all children in households receiving Universal Credit, removing the £7,400 income cap.
Faculty of Public Health
Association of Directors of Public Health
British Association for Child and Adolescent Public Health
School and Public Health Nurses Association
Royal Society for Public Health