Plans for the next Labour Government to provide free school meals for all primary school children have been backed by Portsmouth Labour.
This policy will benefit the educational attainment and health of all children.
Research by the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to free school meals improves educational attainment through improvements in pupils’ productivity, enabling primary school pupils to advance by around two months on average.
The provision of free school meals also improves the health of pupils through better nutrition – with over 90 percent of pupils eating a school lunch consuming food or drink containing vegetables or fruit (including fruit juice) compared with only 58 percent of pupils who eat packed lunches.
The party have announced they will fund the plan for all primary school children by introducing VAT on private school fees.
Welcoming the policy announcement here in Portsmouth, Cllr Stephen Morgan, the city’s Labour Leader said:
“The government’s cuts to school budgets are putting huge pressure on our city’s schools. These decisions affect the educational attainment and health of pupils.
We already know that child poverty is on the increase both nationally and locally in our city. In Charles Dickens ward alone, over 44% of all children aged 0-19 live in poverty. That’s completely unacceptable in 2017.
I want to see every single child in Portsmouth succeed in life.
By investing in our education system and providing free school meals for every primary school child, these plans should improve health and attainment for all children. They have our support here in Portsmouth”.
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