Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

£25m to be invested in universal free school meals in Wales as part of Plaid-Labour co-operation deal

30 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford and Adam Price

£25m is being invested in school kitchen and dining infrastructure, as part of plans to roll out free school meals to all primary school children in Wales, the Welsh Government has announced.

The policy is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, which will see free school meals extended to all primary school pupils over the next three years.

From September, some of the youngest children in primary schools will begin receiving free school meals as the policy is introduced in a phased way.

Working with schools and local authorities, the Welsh Government will plan and prepare the infrastructure needed for all primary aged pupils to receive free school meals by September 2024.

Revenue funding of up to £200m has been set aside for local authorities to deliver the commitment, with £40m to be provided in 2022-23, £70m in 2023-24 and £90m in 2024-25.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Together we have made a joint commitment that no child in Wales should go hungry and that every child in our primary schools will be able to have a free school meal.

“We are facing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. We know younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, which is why the youngest of our learners will be the first to benefit.

“This cost-of-living crisis is being felt by families all over Wales – extending free school meals is one of a number of measures we are taking to support families through this difficult time.”

Picture by the Welsh Government

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said that from “talking to other parents” it was “very clear that families need as much support with living costs as possible, especially given the additional financial challenges people are currently facing”.

“Today’s announcement begins the roll-out of a policy that will make a real difference to many across the country,” he said. “It is an important step towards fulfilling one of our key pledges in the Co-operation Agreement and an example of how constructive joint working is making a real difference on the ground.

“This new capital funding supports the start of the introduction of free school meals for all primary school children. It is also part of a wider agenda to use those powers we do have in Wales to tackle child poverty, which affects a third of our children.

“Removing the stigma associated with having a free lunch will mean that children receive a healthy meal at a formative stage in their development – hungry children cannot learn or achieve their true potential. Together, we’re delivering for Wales and making a difference.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Excellent, it is so important for the development of healthy young bodies to have the right balance of wholesome food. The trick will be to provide quality ingredients and not processed rubbish…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Where we have the Labour/ Plaid corporation deal to invest £25 million into providing universal free school meals for our children that not only facilitates their learning but fills their stomachs in the process too, also see the out of touch Welsh Tories arguing how £12 million should instead be wasted on books to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond jubilee. It’s all about priorities with them.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Or to put it another way ‘colonial bullying’…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

This is a communist nationalist plot to indocrinate our children into expecting to be fed when we need them queueing at the door to perform menial tasks for crusts.

Posted on behalf of Andrew R T Davies and friends.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago

This is great news- my daughter is in primary school and at present we pay £2.40 a day for her dinner (£12 a week) Times are tough and even though me and my wife earn jointly over £100,000 a year from our holiday lets in Abersoch as they say every penny counts- Cheers Adam and Mark

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

I don’t believe you…you are a liar

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

you can believe what you want mate but i can assure you there will be people earning over £100K who will benefit from this universal policy. Do you think that is right?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago

What is the problem with that? A similar policy exists in Finland, and there free school meals, as well as free kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary/higher education are free right through to post-graduate studies for all comers, no matter what parental income is. Free meals for all school children has been a policy since 1947. The difference is that the taxes paid by the more wealthy are higher than they are for the poorer in society, and it seems the Finns are both aware, and happy with that. One day Wales will hopefully do something similar so that social justice… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Padi Phillips
NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

You make some interesting and very valid points Padi ( makes a change from idiots like Mab Meirion) I personally agree with you and yes the better off do pay more in tax here in Wales so overall it is fair- however this goes against everything socialists basically believe in which is tax the rich to give to the poor

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

But not you because you are nobody…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Free school meals even more essential after mass sacking on Ynys Mon…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Orthios…I’m told dodgy Canadian money, perhaps they need it to by a share in UK gas pipelines off National Grid…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

buy buy adios

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.