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Free school meals scheme is welcomed
1:00pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Local news
A Wharfedale councillor has hailed the announcement that free school meals will be provided for all younger school children.
From next year all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils will be provided with school meals as part of a drive to ensure children eat well and, as a result, improve their learning.
The coalition Government has earmarked £600 million for the national policy – driven by the Lib Dems – and estimate it could save parents about £400 per child each year. For the Leeds area, the change means nearly 27,000 pupils will be entitled to a free school meal from 2014.
Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said: “I was a primary school teacher for more than 30 years and I know that a decent meal at lunch time can bring great educational and social benefits to young learners.
“Educationally, because growing children need a balanced diet with an energy boost at lunchtime to help them continue learning throughout the afternoon, and socially because eating together helps them mix and co-operate with each other.
“The additional free school meals funding, combined with pupil premium money, that this year totalled £400,000 in Otley and Yeadon schools, will help ensure that all children benefit from an improved education.”
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