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Free school meals will help boost learning

July 31, 2014 5:59 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Free school meals will help boost learning in schools, according to a report published today.

Trials for the school meals scheme, which comes into effect in September, show that infants from poorer backgrounds perform better in the classroom.

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The report finds that pupils were academically months ahead of their peers elsewhere and more likely to eat vegetables at lunchtime instead of less healthy food like crisps.

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

"The evidence is clear - free school meals will not only save families hundreds of pounds a year but will also have a dramatic impact on how a child performs works in the classroom so that, regardless of their background, every child can have the best possible start in life.

"Pupils at the pilot schools were found to be up to two months ahead of their peers elsewhere and had a better chance of improving in all subjects from maths and science to writing and reading - this marks a significant improvement on schemes by previous Governments aimed at closing the attainment gap such as the introduction of the literacy hour in 1998.

"This is one of the most progressive changes to our school system for a long time so there will always be critics but that won't cloud my goal to create a level playing field for all of our children so their success will be determined by their talents and efforts alone and not by their parents' bank balance."