Calls to introduce free school meals in all Jersey primary schools

Deputy Ward wants an existing pilot to be expanded across all primary schools. Credit: PA

Free school meals could be trialled in all Jersey primary schools from next September.

At the moment, the initiative is being piloted in three schools but Deputy Rob Ward is calling for that to be expanded to them all.

He asserts there are around 1,000 children each day who go without a hot meal because of poor accommodation, a lack of cooking facilities and financial difficulties.

The Reform Jersey politician is proposing an amendment to the 2021-2024 Government Plan, which will be debated later this month, to spend £573,717 on the project.

It follows a recent high profile campaign against child food hunger in the UK led by the premiership footballer Marcus Rashford.

In Jersey, the Children’s Commissioner Deborah McMillan has been publicly supportive of calls for the government to fund school meals for primary school pupils.

Responding to concern about infrastructure to provide the meals in schools, Deputy Ward said the means are available to meet schools' and students' needs.

The Education Minister, Senator Tracy Vallois, said she supports the pilot.