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Greater entitlement to free school meals would reduce stigma, shame ­– and hunger

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 June 2017

Rebecca O’Connell, Julia Brannen and Abigail Knight
The Conservative Manifesto proposes to end free school meals for all at key stage 1 and instead offer primary children free breakfast. What impact would this have?
For more than a century the UK government has provided free school meals (FSM) to children whose education might otherwise suffer. Today, school meals are a particular priority for children’s wellbeing, especially for the nearly 4 million children living in poverty. This is because of rising food prices, reduced household incomes – particularly for families with children – and cuts to the welfare benefit system. Recent research suggests that young people are not benefiting fully from free school meals because of issues of eligibility, adequacy and delivery.
Our ongoing study of 45 young people aged 11-15 and their parents in low income (more…)