Duncan joined infants at Ivy Lane Primary School for lunch. For the first time, all infants are entitled to free school meals – a policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government.
A recent study found that pupils in pilot areas where all children were entitled to free school meals made two months’ more progress than their peers elsewhere, were better behaved and were more likely to eat vegetables and less likely to have crisps or fizzy drinks.
The Children’s Society has also hailed the move as “historic” and “a positive first step in the fight against child poverty”, pointing out that 160,000 more children in poverty will be entitled to free school meals as a result – including 970 in Wiltshire.
“It’s great that more than 15,000 children here in Wiltshire will now see the benefits of a hot, healthy lunch at school.
“Delivering the policy has not always been straightforward, and I’m glad so many head teachers have embraced it, knowing that there is good evidence that it will help their pupils learn.
“It was a pleasure to eat with pupils at Ivy Lane Primary School in their newly-refurbished hall, and find out first-hand how tasty and healthy their school lunches are.”