Wednesday 5 April 2017 / 9:19 PM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

Labour commits to free school meals for all primary school children

Tomorrow (Thursday 6th April), Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the
Labour Party, and Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, will
commit the next Labour Government to providing free school meals for all
primary school children.

Labour will fund the policy by
introducing VAT on private school fees. Labour’s policy will benefit the
educational attainment and health of all children while ending a subsidy to the
privileged few.

Research confirmed by the National
Centre for Social Research and the Institute for
Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to
free school meals improves educational attainment through improvements in
pupils’ productivity, enabling primary school pupils to advance by around two
months on average.

The provision of free school meals also
has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition – with
over 90 percent of pupils eating a school lunch consuming food or drink
containing vegetables or fruit (including fruit juice) compared with only 58
percent of pupils who eat packed lunches.

At the launch event in Lancashire,
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:

“No child in the UK should go hungry at
school. By charging VAT on private schools fees, Labour will make sure all
primary school children, no matter what their background, get a healthy meal at
school.

“The next Labour Government will
provide all primary school children with a free school meal, invest in our
schools, and make sure no child is held back because of their background.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow
Education Secretary, will say:

“The Government’s cuts to the school
budget are making school meals worse and limiting the number of children that
can be fed. This decision affects the educational attainment and health of
pupils.

“While the Conservatives offer tax giveaways to their billionaire friends, they
are cutting the schools budget and threatening the health and futures of all
our children by denying children the basic right of a healthy lunch at school.
By investing in our education system and providing free school meals for every
primary school child, we will remove the stigma attached to free school meals,
and improve health and attainment for all children.“