WIGAN school chiefs are backing the Government’s proposal to provide free school meals for children up to the age of seven.
Council members have welcomed the announcement that the £600m plan will save families an average of £437 per child every year at a time when many are struggling financially. The plan will come into force next September.
Coun Susan Louden, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “If the Government is planning to fully fund free school meals for all children up to the age of seven then on the face of it I would generally welcome this move.
“I would want to know that it is fully funded by Government not, like last time - asking us for 50 per cent of the cost; which the council may struggle to find.
“Finally, this proposal means every child, even families who do not need this financial support, will receive this benefit and If I had the choice I would target funding to the services supporting families who are struggling during the present economic crisis.”
John Hanley, headteacher of St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary, said: “It would be interesting to see the uptake and perhaps the money could be targeted in a different way to benefit hard pressed families more.
“At the moment there is a free fruit scheme for reception and I would assume that this would stop.”