Jenny supports today's policy announcement that the next Labour Government will provide free school meals for all primary school children, a change that could benefit 221,004 children in the North East of England.
Labour will fund the policy by introducing VAT on private school fees. Labour’s policy 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 - with over 90 percent 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.
No child in the UK should go hungry at school.