Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner, will tomorrow (Thursday) commit to providing free school meals for all primary school children if the party wins the next general election.
Labour says the new policy will be funded by introducing VAT on private school fees, adding that it will benefit the educational attainment and health of all children while ending a subsidy to the privileged few.
Research confirmed 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 has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition, say Labour, with over 90 per cent 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.
At the launch event in Lancashire, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will say: “No child in the UK should go hungry at school.