Education

Corbyn guarantees free main faculty meals for all

Corbyn meals

Picture copyright
PA

Picture caption

Jeremy Corbyn will name for varsity meals funded by VAT on personal faculty charges

Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn says he desires to increase free faculty meals to all main faculty pupils in England.

Mr Corbyn desires to pay for this by introducing VAT on personal faculty charges.

Labour says this could enhance the well being of younger youngsters by “ending a subsidy to the privileged few”.

However the Unbiased Faculties Council mentioned the “sums don’t add up” for the proposed cost on personal faculties.

All state faculty educated pupils within the first three years of main faculty already obtain free meals, below a scheme launched by the coalition authorities.

However Mr Corbyn and shadow training secretary Angela Rayner, visiting a youngsters’s vacation membership in Lancashire on Thursday, are going to suggest extending it to all main pupils.

Labour says Home of Commons Library figures recommend this could price £700m to £900m.

Picture caption

Labour says free meals for all would enhance well being and lift requirements

Mr Corbyn will say that the worth must be paid by mother and father who ship their youngsters to non-public faculty – and Labour quotes an estimate from the Fabian Society that VAT on personal faculty charges might increase about £1.5bn per yr.

“No youngster within the UK ought to go hungry in school. By charging VAT on personal faculties charges, Labour will be sure that all main faculty youngsters, it doesn’t matter what their background, get a wholesome meal in school,” the Labour chief will say.

Labour says that there’s analysis proof exhibiting that common entry to free faculty meals would increase achievement.

This features a 2012 report from the Institute for Fiscal Research – which mentioned that it might increase requirements in deprived areas and estimated that it might price £1bn.

Ms Rayner mentioned that giving each pupil a college meal would take away the stigma of solely giving free meals to poorer youngsters.

“Whereas the Conservatives supply tax giveaways to their billionaire mates, they’re reducing the faculties price range and threatening the well being and futures of all our youngsters by denying youngsters the essential proper of a wholesome lunch in school,” she is going to say.

The 2014 introduction of free faculty meals for the primary three years was a coverage championed by former Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Forward of the final normal election, the Lib Dems additionally referred to as for the coverage to be expanded to all main pupils, placing the price at £610m a yr.

Julie Robinson, head of the Unbiased Faculties Council, mentioned the funding proposals didn’t add up and would harm arduous working households.

“A 3rd of pupils at our faculties are on diminished charges and are from households the place each mother and father work arduous to pay the charges,” she mentioned.

“If this measure was launched smaller impartial faculties might shut, driving extra youngsters again to be funded within the state system.”