Norman Lamb has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer demanding that free school meals are not cut by the government.
The Universal Free School Meals programme was introduced by the coalition government, providing a free meal for all infant school age children. The are now reports that the new government is considering scrapping the policy.
Norman Lamb said:
"The Liberal Democrats fought hard to introduce this when we were in coalition. Pilot studies have shown that a hot, healthy meal at lunchtime greatly improves the health, behaviour and results of school children, providing them with the best start in life. Hunger can have a huge effect on a child’s ability to learn, grow and enjoy life."
Free School Meals not only encourage positive eating habits and helps improve concentration and performance in the classroom, but also leads to significant savings for families. As of September 2014, over 98% of schools were delivering a hot meal every day to all children aged 5-7.
Alongside the Pupil Premium – an extra £2.5 billion in funding targeted at those who need the most help in our schools – Universal Free Schools Meals were a major step forward in education reform. Both were secured by the Liberal Democrats.