£1bn Towards Free School Meals

£1bn is being unlocked to fund the Department of Education's free school meals commitment.

The news, announced by deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, follows an announcement in September that every child in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools will receive a free school lunch.

The government is to provide revenue funding of £450m in 2014 to 2015 and £635m in 2015 to 2016 to the Department for Education.

£150m of capital is to go towards building new kitchens or increasing dining capacity where necessary.

£70m of this will be new money from the Treasury (HMT) and around £80m will be from unspent maintenance budgets.

On a visit to a primary school in Lambeth, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Early on I made it very clear that universal free school meals would be my personal priority in this Autumn Statement and I’m proud that we are now delivering it. From the start of the next school year, every single infant school pupil will be able to sit to down to a free school lunch."

The average school meal costs £437 per child per year and many children on low incomes are not eligible for free school meals.

Approximately 4 out of 10 children (from all age groups) living in poverty are not eligible.


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