Free school meals briefing | CPAG

Free school meals briefing

Post date: 
17 September 2020

We believe free school meals should be a universal part of the school experience. As well as preventing and reducing child poverty, the provision of school meals to all pupils has a number of other well-document benefits:

  1. It helps to tackle inequalities. 
  2. It supports family budgets and home life. 
  3. It boosts learning and attainment. 
  4. It boosts uptake and reduces poverty-related stigma. 
  5. It helps to create bonds in the dining hall through shared meal experiences. 
  6. It supports children’s health by providing a balanced meal each day. 

Our briefing makes the case for universal free school meals, and in the short term sets out our argument for:

  1. Expanding eligibility for free school meals to all families receiving universal credit (or equivalent benefits)
  2. Extending free school meal entitlements to families with no recourse to public funds permanently
  3. Retaining universal infant free school meals