Draft council motion on Free School Meals

If you use this motion (or one similar on this issue) please inform Daisy Cooper MP at daisy.cooper.mp@parliament.uk so she can track our progress on this across the country.


**If you use this motion (or one similar on this issue) please inform Daisy Cooper MP at daisy.cooper.mp@parliament.uk so she can track our progress on this across the country**

This Council notes:

That numbers of pupils entitled to Free School Meals are rising fast.  

(If councillors have local information it would be good to add it here)

That every child who is entitled to Free School Meals is a sign of a family under significant financial pressure.

That this picture of increasing child poverty is supported by the rapid rise in the number of families dependent on food banks. 

 (The Trussel trust reporting an 81 per cent increase in food bank dependency in March 2020, and other food banks reporting similar increases. (Number of children relying on food banks more than doubles during lockdown, figures show.)

That children who are hungry are less able to learn and thrive at school.

That the extension of the school meals voucher scheme (campaigned for by Marcus Rashford) to cover the period of the summer holiday was incredibly important and valuable to families in food poverty. 

The very welcome commitment from Liberal Democrat Education Minister in the Welsh Assembly, Kirsty Williams, to guarantee free school meal provision for school holidays until at least Easter 2021.

This Council recognises that the withdrawal of the furlough scheme, along with fears of a second lockdown are likely to lead to further increases in child poverty.

This Council therefore supports the calls by the Child Food Poverty Task Force, supported by Marcus Rashford and many leading food suppliers and producers, which calls for:

The expansion of free school meals provision to every child whose family is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent, or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.

That provision be made for food vouchers to cover school holidays and periods of lockdown for all families in receipt of Universal Credit or with low-income and no recourse to public funds.

That Healthy Start vouchers should be increased in value to £4.25, and expanded to be made available to all those in receipt of Universal Credit or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.

This Council  therefore resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor to call for: 

  1. Extend eligibility for free school meals to every pupil whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit
  2. Food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday and during any period of lockdown
  3. Extend eligibility for free school meals to pupils from low-income families whose parents or guardians have no recourse to public funds and destitute asylum seekers under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999