At a glance
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced free school meals for primary school pupils across London for a year, beginning in September.
- The proposal is estimated to benefit 270,000 children and is worth £130m.
- It is designed to fill the gap of those not eligible for free school meals due to the government’s eligibility criteria.
- The move could result in a saving of approximately £440 for each child.
- An announcement is scheduled for 23 February.
London Mayor Announces Free School Meals for Primary School Pupils
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that primary school pupils across London will receive free school meals for a year, beginning in September.
The proposal is estimated to benefit 270,000 children and is worth £130m, funded from higher-than-expected business rates income.
Eligibility Criteria Set by Government
It is designed to fill the gap of those not eligible for free school meals due to the eligibility criteria set by the government.
The government has set eligibility criteria for free school meals, which requires households on universal credit to make less than £7,400 a year.
This could result in a saving of approximately £440 for each child.
Approval from Charities and Unions
The mayor said he hoped the move would help “alleviate any potential negative connotations that may be associated with being identified as low-income” and increase uptake among families who may benefit from the assistance.
Charities and unions expressed their approval of the move.
Some London boroughs have implemented a policy of providing free primary school meals universally.
According to an estimate by City Hall, the average cost of a hot school meal for a primary school child is between £2.25 and £2.35.
An announcement is scheduled for 23 February.
According to the Department for Education, the number of children receiving a free meal at school has increased by more than 2 million since 2010.
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