Barry Sheerman – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Barry Sheerman on 2015-10-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to assist disadvantaged children by the provision of free school meals.

Mr Sam Gyimah

The government recognises the benefits of providing a healthy school meal to the most disadvantaged children. Children in England who receive, or whose parents receive, specified benefits[1] are entitled to receive free school meals. Free meals were also extended to disadvantaged students in further education institutions from September 2014.

Since 1 September 2014, state-funded schools in England have been required by law to provide free lunches to all pupils in reception, year one or year two.

The provision of universal infant free school meals was a commitment in the Conservative Party Manifesto.

[1] Income Support (IS); Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA); an income-related employment and support allowance; support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) with an annual income, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), that does not exceed £16,190; the guarantee element of State Pension Credit; or Universal Credit. Where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit run-on – the payment someone receives for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit -their children are entitled to free school meals.