PLANS TO give all primary school children free school meals in the UK have been announced as part of a coalition deal between the Tories and Lib Dems, Nick Clegg has announced.
The £600 million scheme will see an additional 1.5 million children aged between five and seven entitled to a free school lunch; the price, it is claimed, that the Conservatives have had to pay to push through the marriage tax allowance bill.
Free school meals has been a constant topic of debate in recent months and was highly recommended by Lean co-founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent as part of the School Food Plan.
The aim of the scheme is to improve youth health and educational attainment, after pilot schemes showed that when given free school meals the number of children eating vegetables increased by 23% and the number eating crisps dropped by 18%. Classroom attentiveness was markedly improved as a result.
Despite some criticism over what some see as a break for middle class parents who can afford to pay for school meals many charities and campaigners are behind the scheme:
"Providing a hit nutritious lunch for all infants in primary school promotes positive eating habits and helps to ensure children are able to concentrate and perform well in the classroom." Commented Anne Longfield, Chief Executive for the 4children charity.