The Health Cost Of Cutting Free School Lunches Will Be Far Greater Than The Price Of Them

Free School Meals

 

 

By Sophia Komninou in The Conversation.

 

The Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to replace free school lunches – for children in the first three years of primary school in England – with free breakfasts is curious to say the least.

Since it was announced, researchers have found that the cost of the project is hugely undervalued. In an official statement launched before the manifesto, the party said that breakfast clubs “will cost £60m a year”. It has since been found that this would be the equivalent of less than 7p per pupil.

Further analysis by think tank Education Data lab has found that if only half of pupils take up the free breakfast at a more realistic cost of 25p – though even this would only amount to porridge with milk – it could cost more than £400m when extra staffing costs are added in.

Before the financial disparity was highlighted, questions quickly arose over whether a free school breakfast for all children could be better than a free school lunch for some.

 

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