Universal Credit: One million children ‘to miss out on free school meals’

The Huffington Post reports that Children’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi has announced children in Universal Credit-claiming families with net earnings less than £7,400 will be entitled for free school meals.  

Zahawi said the move will see an extra 50,000 children entitled to help. But the Children’s Society and Labour have described the move as “a huge step backwards” that will see a million children who would have qualified miss out.  

Every child whose parent claims Universal Credit was due to qualify for free school meals from April, but the Government decided to make changes. 

While the new threshold is £7,400 per year, ministers say once benefits are taken into account, a typical family earning that amount will take home between £18,000 and £24,000.

Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, said: “The Government should have taken this opportunity to listen to Labour’s call for all children in families receiving Universal Credit to be eligible for free school meals, but instead they have chosen to make life harder for millions of parents across the country.”

Zahawi said: “It is right that we must continue to offer the most disadvantaged young people additional help and I am pleased that, following public consultations, we can extend free school meals and the free early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds.”

Read more Universal Credit: One million children ‘to miss out on free school meals’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!

 

'The only sticking plaster holding schools together? The army of teaching assistants'
Schoolchildren should take exams earlier to cope with mental health pressures, says education minister
Categories: Infant, Parenting, Pre-school and Primary.

Let us know what you think...