One of Islington Labour’s policies that I’m most proud of is the introduction of free school meals for all primary school children.
Islington Labour introduced this policy in Islington in 2010 in the face of strong opposition from our then Lib Dem opposition.
Free school meals for all has proved to me massively successful. Teachers report that (surprise, surprise) children learn and behave better in the afternoon if they’re not hungry. Parents say that a major disincentive to work has been removed. Children say that the stigma of being a ‘free school meals child’ has gone.
With Fiona Twycross AM, and the support of the GMB trade union, I helped found the Labour Campaign for Free School Meals for All. Given the fantastic news today that Labour has embraced this policy nationally I thought it was worth re-publishing our document setting out the case : The Labour case for Free School Meals for All – revised 2014
There is also a really good article in The Guardian, dating back to the campaign’s launch, here: Free school dinners all round, regardless of income.