December 20 2013 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Nearly 8,500 youngsters in Havering will get free school meals at school from September 2014.
Under plans unveiled by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, 8,466 primary school pupils across the borough will enjoy a healthy lunch.
The scheme, which will cover children in reception, Year One and Year Two, will save families £400 a year per child.
Disadvantaged teenagers studying at sixth forms and colleges will also be eligible.
Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MEP for London, said: “Millions of parents across the country are feeling the squeeze.
“We are determined to ease the financial burden for these families and give every child in London the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and a fairer society.”
The news comes after an independent review for the Department of Education found in pilots where students were given free dinners, they performed better academically and were more likely to eat vegetables at lunchtime.
Mr Clegg said in his speech: “My ambition is that every primary school pupil should be able to sit down to a hot, healthy lunch with their classmates every day.
“We will start with infant school pupils because teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits.”