Free School Meals for All is a policy whose time has come. Not just for children in London, Scotland and Wales, but for the rest of England too.
This is why 250+ civil society leaders, groups, and unions – including the Social Workers Union and the General Federation of Trade Unions – and over 90,000 people have co-signed the No Child Left Behind coalition’s open letter to the Prime Minister.
In brilliant news, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced yesterday that he is extending the Free School Meals for All scheme for primary school children in London for the 2024-2025 academic year. That’s 287,000 children eating, learning and growing together.
Alongside the extension is an uplift to the funding per school dinner (increasing to £3 per meal from the national government funding of £2.53 per meal) so that pupils throughout the capital can get the high quality, filling and nutritious food that they need to learn.
Already, we have heard firsthand about the incredible impact that this scheme has had. Through the No Child Left Behind coalition’s research with Child Poverty Action Group, involving surveys with educators and families — parents and carers report having improved relationships with schools, and less anxiety about affording food.
This week’s announcement shows how powerful our collective advocacy can be.
The extension of the scheme for another year in London is cause to celebrate and inspiration to keep up the fight until we win Free School Meals for All for every child.
Only the UK Government can provide the central funding needed to make this scheme permanent and nation-wide.
Sign the open letter now calling on the Prime Minister to deliver this for every primary-school child in England: https://freeschoolmealsforall.org.uk/take-action