Give Secondary School Pupils Universal Free School Meals – Peredur


A Plaid Cymru MS has called on the Labour Government to extend the universal free school meal policy to combat the growing cost-of-living crisis.

Peredur Owen Griffiths, who represents South Wales East, asked Education Minister Jeremy Miles to consider the proposal in order to prevent children going hungry in school.

Mr Owen Griffiths has said the cost-of-living crisis will mean “this winter will be one of the most challenging in the history of devolution.”

He said the spiralling cost of everyday, essential items will be felt across the board, including in education.

Peredur said: “This winter will be one of the most challenging in the history of devolution, because the cost-of-living crisis will have a brutal and merciless impact on almost everybody, but especially the most vulnerable, without significant state intervention.

“Education is one of the many places where this crisis will be felt. Some children not covered by our free school meals policy will be going hungry this winter.

“Have you given any thought to Plaid Cymru's calls to extend the universal free school meals programme as an emergency measure for secondary school children?”

He added: “And, further to your answer to Sioned Williams earlier—that there aren't going to be any further funds available to schools to combat the increased costs—where would you suggest that headteachers cut their budgets in order to keep the lights on?”

Mr Miles replied: “Well, the Member will know that it's the Government's hope as well that we can do more in the area of free school meals, but the extension that the Member refers to in his question is one where we would need to make the kinds of cuts in other parts of our budget that the Member invites me to specify that schools should make in theirs.

"So, the challenge is very, very significant.”

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  • Gareth Llewellyn
    published this page in News 2022-09-23 09:33:21 +0100

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