Critics attack free meals cost

Concerns are being raised about the Government's ability to afford a £1 billion giveaway handing all children under eight free school meals alongside a likely tax break for married couples.

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Clegg: 'First step on way to free school meals for all'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the new policy giving all infant school children a free school meal in England was the first step in fulfilling his ambition to provide free school meals to all primary school children.

Mr Clegg said: "For the Liberal Democrats, this is a first step: my ambition is to provide free school meals for all primary school children. Another reason we want to get into Government again next time round."

The Deputy Prime Minister said free school meals would help "give every child the chance in life they deserve."

Free meals 'could improve academic performance'

All infant school pupils in state funded schools in England will be eligible for a free school meal from September 2014. Credit: PA Wire

Free school meals for infant children could substantially improve academic performance, a recent report suggested.

The School Food Plan, conducted by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, found that, in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers elsewhere.

Between three and five per cent more children reached target levels in maths and English at Key Stage 1.

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Free school meals for all infants in England

The Coalition will fund schools in England to provide every infant school child with a hot meal at lunchtime. Credit: PA

Every child at infant school in England will receive a free school meal from next September, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.

The Coalition will fund schools in England to provide every child in reception, year one and year two, from the ages of four to seven, with a hot and healthy meal at lunchtime.

Mr Clegg said the scheme would “give every child the chance in life they deserve.”

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