William Eichler 05 April 2018

Over 100,000 children to lose free school meals under reforms

One in eight children who would have qualified for free school meals under the old system will become ineligible under universal credit.

The Government has confirmed that families on universal credit with net earnings under £7,400 a year will be able to claim free school meals.

New research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found the new criteria means 50,000 more children will be eligible for free school meals.

This amounts to a 4% increase on the current numbers and will cost the Government an extra £20-30m per year.

Funded by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, the research found about 210,000 children who would not have qualified for free school meals under the old system will gain entitlement under universal credit.

However, it also means 160,000 — or one in eight — of the 1.3 million children who would have qualified under the legacy system will find themselves ineligible after the reforms.

‘The change in the structure of the benefits system inherent in universal credit means that the government was always going to have to come up with a new way of determining which children qualify for free school meals,’ said Tom Waters, an IFS research economist.

‘This meant it either had to spend more public money on them in total or create some losers. Its chosen path does a combination of the two.

‘It creates a substantial number of losers, but also a greater number of winners, with children of lone parents and of working parents especially likely to gain entitlement.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Highways Operative - Barrow x4

Cumbria County Council
£22,571 – £23,484
We are looking to recruit a new Highways Operative to our Highways Service. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Refugee Resettlement Interpreter - Ukrainian and Russian

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 - £29,174
‘Homes for Ukraine’ is the Government’s initiative to supporting those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Cumbria / Countywide
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Safer Spaces Community Safety Enforcement Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
Our Community Safety Enforcement Officers are responsible for improving community safety outcomes throughout the Royal Borough’s main Town Centres. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Enforcement Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
The Royal Borough of Greenwich are looking for dedicated, enthusiastic, and compassionate individuals. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Communications and Engagement Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£38,385 to £41,586
We’re looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated communications professional to join our team. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.