Children in Cardiff to miss out on free school meals – Jenny Willott MP

September 1, 2014 12:57 PM

Coding with primary school children

As schools in Cardiff go back this week, Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has said that infant pupils and their families will be worse off because the Welsh Labour Government has failed to adopt the free school meals initiative being promoted in all schools in England.

The Lib Dems as part of the UK Coalition Government have introduced the policy so that from September 2014 every child aged from five to seven years old in an infant school in England will get free school meals, saving families over £400 a year per child. However, despite receiving extra money from Westminster to follow suit, the Welsh Labour Government has decided to spend the money elsewhere.

Commenting, Jenny Willott MP, said:

"The Liberal Democrats believe the first few years of children's lives are crucial in helping them to get on later in life. In England free schools meals will save parents time and money, boost children's education and make sure every child gets the healthy meal they need to see them through the school day.

"It is really disappointing that the Welsh Labour Government has decided not to introduce the measure here. Whilst the parents of infant children in Cardiff Central will continue to pay for their child to have lunch at school, their English equivalents will get the meal for free.

"The Lib Dems are committed to helping families and if we form part of the next government after the elections in May 2015, the Liberal Democrats will extend the free school meals policy to seven to eleven year olds. The Welsh Government should look to build on these initiatives to improve the lives of children and help families across Cardiff and Wales."

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