Lessons under threat as small schools struggle to pay for free lunches

The TES is reporting that hundreds of small primaries may have to cut lessons in order to provide lunches for infants because they are struggling to meet the government’s free school meals pledge.

The policy of giving every child aged 5-7 a free school meal was introduced last year, despite concerns that many small schools did not have the facilities to prepare the food.

Now, hundreds of primaries may have to cut provision in subjects such as music to pay for lunches. Funding allocated by the government is not enough to cover the costs, according to the National Association of Small Schools (NASS).

Henry Dimbleby, one of the architects of the scheme and a co-founder of restaurant chain Leon, told TES that he had warned the government about the cost implications for small schools right from the start.

“We have always said there needs to be more money,” he said. “It’s not tens of thousands per school, it’s a few thousand. Small schools do have a structural issue. The government recognises that and we expect a permanent solution will be found to help those schools…”

To read the article in full, get the14 August edition of TES

More at: Lessons under threat as small schools struggle to pay for free lunches


We’re still waiting for a solution to the issues created by parents no longer signing their children up for pupil premium now they get free meals anyway – despite this being anticipated from the very day the free meals initiative was announced – so I wouldn’t hold my breath over this one being solved anytime soon.

Is your/your child’s school suffering? If so, how confident are you that a solution will be found? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Primary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This isn’t a new story, it’s been the case since the policy was introduced only ministers refuse to acknowledge it

  2. WendyC116

    SchoolsImprove plenty of other stuff to cut b4 music:stop paying over the odds to educational resource suppliers & supply agencies1st

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