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Welsh universal free school meals roll-out to commence in September

21st Jun 2022 - 07:00
The Welsh Government has confirmed that reception aged children will start receiving free school meals as early as September 2022.

As part of the Labour/Plaid Cymru Agreement, the Welsh Government is working with local authorities to implement the commitment that all primary pupils will receive free school meals by 2024. Funding of £225m has been set aside for this over the next three years as the Welsh Government looks to combat the impact of the rising cost of living.

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Welsh Language and Education, said: "A child should never be hungry at school. With many families feeling the pinch because of the cost of living crisis, we are fully committed to taking practical steps to support our children and young people.

"Our new programme of free school meals for primary children is one of the key ways we are trying to help families. I would like to thank local authorities and schools for working constructively with us over the last few months to help us make this a reality."

By April 2023 it is hoped that most children in year 1 and 2 will also start receiving free school meals.  

Judith Gregory, LACA Wales regional chair, commented: “Free school meals are a vital support to families by easing the financial burden, minimising health inequalities and boosting educational attainment. Extending the free school meals provision will also benefit the local economy and support supply chains. We look forward to working with all our stakeholders to deliver this provision.”

Written by
Edward Waddell