This CLP notes:
The current eligibility criteria for free school meals leaves on average one in three children living in poverty in England cannot access the provision.
There is an ever-growing body of evidence demonstrating universally provided free school meals benefit children’s health, attainment, behaviour, lifetime earnings, local economies, families’ budgets, and staff working conditions.
A cost-benefit analysis of expanding free school meals, carried out by PwC, shows a significant return on investment: universal provision could generate £99.5bn for the economy over its first 20 years.
Scotland, Wales and London are all starting to roll out universal free school meals.
Labour Party Conference 2022 passed an emergency motion in support of universal free school meals.
This CLP believes:
That providing free school meals to all children would improve their health and educational outcomes and reduce inequalities.
That, like in hospitals, prisons, military settings, and other public places where the state provides food, the state has a moral responsibility to feed those it requires to be in schools.
That it is unjust to means test children for this one part of the school day.
That providing universal free school meals is a right and economically virtuous investment in our future generations.
This CLP resolves to:
- To encourage and support the next Labour government to deliver universal free school meals, as per the Labour Party Conference 2022 Emergency Motion.
- To campaign for sufficient investment accompanying any expansion of free school meals, to cover the associated costs, including staff, food and energy.