Expanding eligibility for free school meals in Wales | Ehangu cymhwystra am brydau ysgol am ddim yng Nghymru | CPAG

Expanding eligibility for free school meals in Wales | Ehangu cymhwystra am brydau ysgol am ddim yng Nghymru

Post date: 
16 October 2020

Our analysis has found that over half of children in Wales who live below the UK poverty line are not entitled to free school meals. Of the 129,000 school-age children living below the poverty line in Wales, over 70,000 are not eligible for free school meals, mainly because their parents are in low-paid jobs which take them over the eligibility threshold. In addition, nearly 6,000 children in Wales are not normally eligible for free school meals because their families have no recourse to public funds; many of these children live in deep, long-term poverty and are in urgent need of support.

Our briefing makes the case for the introduction of universal free school meals as a way to tackle inequalities and boost learning and attainment. As an interim measure, we are also urgently calling to extend eligibility for free school meals to all families receiving Universal Credit (or equivalent benefits), and to make permanent the extension to families with no recourse to public funds. Expanding eligibility would help struggling families to cope, improve educational outcomes and help tackle in-work poverty.

Yn ôl ein dadansoddiad, nid oes gan fwy na hanner y plant yng Nghymru yn byw islaw ffin tlodi’r DU hawl i brydau ysgol am ddim. O’r 129,000 o blant oedran ysgol yn byw islaw’r ffin tlodi yng Nghymru, mae mwy na 70,000 nad ydynt yn gymwys am brydau ysgol am ddim, yn bennaf am fod eu rhieni mewn swyddi tâl isel sy’n mynd â nhw dros y trothwy cymhwystra. Yn ogystal, mae bron 6,000 o blant yng Nghymru fel arfer yn anghymwys i dderbyn prydau ysgol am ddim am fod eu teuluoedd yn methu troi at arian cyhoeddus; mae llawer o’r plant hyn yn byw mewn tlodi dwfn, hirdymor ac mae arnynt angen cefnogaeth yn ddybryd.

Mae ein papur briffio yn gwneud yr achos dros gyflwyno darpariaeth gynhwysol prydau ysgol am ddim fel ffordd i fynd i’r afael ag anghydraddoldebau a hybu dysgu a chyflawniad. Fel mesur dros dro, rydym yn galw’n daer am ehangu cymhwystra am brydau ysgol am ddim i bob teulu sy’n derbyn credyd cynhwysol (neu fudd-daliadau cyfatebol) hefyd, a gwneud yn barhaol yr estyniad ar gyfer teuluoedd sy’n methu troi at arian cyhoeddus. Byddai ehangu cymhwystra yn helpu teuluoedd sy’n cael anawsterau i ymdopi, yn gwella canlyniadau addysgol ac yn mynd i’r afael â thlodi mewn gwaith.