Lib Dems pledge to extend universal free school meals to all primary children

The Liberal Democrats have pledged that all school children under the age of 11 will be entitled to free school meals under manifesto plans announced today…

The Lib Dems claim that extending free school meals for seven to 11 year olds will benefit 1.9 million children and save parents around £400 per child a year.

They also claim pilot studies have shown that a hot, healthy meal at lunchtime greatly improves the health, behaviour and results of school children, providing them with the best start in life.

On the new committment, Nick Clegg says:

“Liberal Democrats want every child to have the best possible start in life. That’s why I want every child to have a hot, healthy school lunch.

“We know that giving children a healthy lunch helps them to concentrate in the afternoon and do better in class.

“It will also save parents £400 for every child they have in primary school.”

More at: Extending free school meals for all primary school children


Would you welcome an extension of universal free school meals to all primary children?

There is no mention of the cost here, or where the money would come from, but is this kind of universal benefit the right approach or should help be targeted at the most in need?

Please give us your feedback and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Primary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Are they going to factor in extra costs this time? Eg. Facilities, extra staff required or will they “forget” them again?

  2. ajjolley

    SchoolsImprove my thoughts are Cleggs claims on school meals improving health, behaviour & attainment are simply a pack of lies.

  3. ajjolley

    SchoolsImprove note the focus is on telling parents the Lib Dems are saving them money, that has always been the main emphisis for clegg

  4. harryreid1985

    ajjolley SchoolsImprove That is part of it – the more important part is that it has been proven that kids who have eaten well do better.

  5. ajjolley

    SchoolsImprove for the same cost as UIFSM, we could change entitlement to provide all children living in poverty with a free school meal

  6. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 SchoolsImprove where?
    Show us the evidence simply providing universal free school meals improves attainment?

  7. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 SchoolsImprove evidence base is actually v poor
    Shouldn’t we be targeting those actually in need regardless of school year?

  8. harryreid1985

    ajjolley SchoolsImprove Evidence bases could always be improved and, ideally, yes – should be regardless of year. Hoping that will follow.

  9. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 SchoolsImprove problem is this is supposed to be evidence based policy
    discount the evidence & it’s just giving parents £430

  10. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 SchoolsImprove would also question the priorities
    It’s £14000 per class, is this really the best way of spending that money?

  11. harryreid1985

    ajjolley Is probably the best way of getting it to those most in need – too much stigma around the issue of FSM etc. 1/2

  12. harryreid1985

    ajjolley SchoolsImprove If this way sole way the LDs aim to increase Sch funding I’d have more concerns, but part of wider £££ package 2/2

  13. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 2 issues, it isnt the best way of getting to those in need at all and stigma over FSM isnt really an issue in primary

  14. ajjolley

    harryreid1985 for the same cost as universal infant Fsm, could provide Fsm to all those children living in poverty regardless of year group

Let us know what you think...