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Free school meals for infants

18 September 2013

Nick Clegg has announced that from September 2014, all infants (reception to year two) will be eligible for free school meals. Praised by parents, unions and National Children’s Bureau, the change will save parents on average £400 per year per child. The aim is to teach healthy eating habits and raise academic standards but what other implications will there be?

Schools currently receive pupil premium for children registered for free schools meals. This additional funding is provided to the schools to improve the attainment of their disadvantaged children. Schools are held accountable for the spending of pupil premium and they must show that the funding is being used to aid those children who need it most. In principle the offering of free meals to infants seems like a great proposal. It will remain to be seen if there is an impact on the assessment and management of pupil premium as a result.

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