A free school meal for all primary pupils could become a reality!
In 2014 the coalition Government introduced universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) for all pupils in their first 3 years of education. Now Jeremy Corbyn of the labour party has announced their plans to fund free meals for all children in primary schools, funded by a VAT tax on private education.
Here in Leeds all of our schools offer a free meal to infant pupils and many can choose between a healthy and nutritious hot meal, a sandwich option or an alternative. Schools, catering and the local authority worked hard together to ensure the kitchens and schools were able to accommodate the extra meals. Some schools in Leeds have also introduced a policy, through working with parents and Governors, whereby infant pupils can only eat food provided by schools and home-brought packed lunches are no longer an option. Click here to view a video made that captures the changes put in place at Little London Primary School when UIFSM was introduced.
No doubt cooking even more meals would be a challenge, one we would all embrace and strive to succeed at. It is more important now more than ever, that we all work together to ensure the meals cook in schools are of a high standard and eaten in a pleasant environment. The Health and Wellbeing Service continuously works alongside schools and catering providers to increase take up and ensure schools maximise the number of pupils who can access and enjoy a meal. We also have a city-wide voluntary packed lunch policy and toolkit for schools to adapt to ensure it the needs of pupils and families. The packed lunch policy aims promotes equality and aims to reduce the health inequalities gap by ensuring good nutrition for all. Our well established school food ambassadors’ programme also helps to engage pupils with monitoring and quality assurance of school food.
To find out what the new labour party policy means for families, teachers and politicians, read the full article here. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/apr/06/what-does-labour-school-meals-policy-mean-for-families-teachers-and-politicians