MP welcomes change in school meal scheme

Nick Clegg, Stephen Lloyd and an Ocklynge pupil
Nick Clegg, Stephen Lloyd and an Ocklynge pupil

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd MP has welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement that all children at infant schools will be entitled to free school meals.

The announcement by Nick Clegg will mean that children in Reception, Year One and Year Two will all be allowed to have free school meals – worth about £400 a year for each child.

Mr Lloyd said, “I am delighted that it is thanks to the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government that this matter is finally being properly addressed – starting with free school meals for all infant children .”

Melanie Hunt, principal and chief executive of Sussex Downs College, has welcomed the decision to give college students from disadvantaged backgrounds a free daily meal.

The Government’s announcement ends a disparity between 16 and 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds who currently receive a free meal at school, but not if they attend college.

Sussex Downs College’s Student Councils joined students from across the country in successfully campaigning for an end to the unfairness under the ‘No Free Lunch?’ banner, led by the Association of Colleges.

Meals will be available to students from September 2014; further details are yet to be published.

Melanie Hunt said, “This is great news which will mean that hundreds of students locally will be guaranteed at least one square meal a day.

“It has been great to see our students supporting a cause that benefits their peers.

“This has also been a valuable lesson in politics; students involved in presenting evidence to the Government which has been used to reach a decision that will benefit many young people in further education.”