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LGA to host improving uptake of free school meals webinar

24th May 2024 - 07:00
LGA to host improving uptake of free school meals webinar
The Local Government Association (LGA) will host a webinar on Tuesday 11th June 2024 at 2pm that focuses on improving uptake of free school meals via local auto-enrolment approaches.

Free school meals (FSM) play a vital role in tackling child food insecurity. As well as ensuring children have access to a hot, nutritious meals, FSM can save a child’s family over £500 a year and unlock £1,500 of Pupil Premium funding for schools.

It is estimated that around 14% of eligible pupils are not claiming the FSM they are entitled to. The introduction of Universal Infant FSM and the Universal Primary FSM offer in London has created further challenges for councils and schools in registering children to receive Pupil Premium.

Councils that have adopted auto-enrolment have seen ‘significant success’ in boosting the uptake of FSM in their area, with one council securing over £5 million in additional Pupil Premium funding over five years.

This virtual session will explore the different approaches to auto-enrolment, their impact, and the resources available to councils that are interested in introducing similar approaches.

An LGA spokesperson commented: “We are urging Government to automatically enrol all children who are eligible for FSM, as well as automatically providing Pupil Premium funding for all children who are eligible for FSM – regardless of whether they wish to claim a free meal.”

The webinar is free to attend for LGA members and Government Departments but costs £79 + VAT for non-members. For more information, visit here.

Written by
Edward Waddell