Mark Whitehead 15 January 2018

Reforms to free school meals would leave children hungry, warn union

Reforms to free school meals would leave children hungry, warn union image

A leading union has dismissed government proposed reforms to free school meal entitlement as 'a cut disguised as a kindness.'

The GMB says the change under the controversial Universal Credit system would leave children hungry and could cost jobs.

In November last year, the Government launched a consultation targeting benefits for children which included a net income threshold of £7,400 a year before for free school meals.

It said about 50,000 more children would be eligible for free meals as a result - but others dispute the claim.

The Children’s Society warned it would lead to about one million children being left without a free school meal and create a ‘cliff-edge’ where many families would be better off taking a pay cut.

The GMB says the new cap would mean only the lowest-earning 20% of households would be entitled to free meals, even though 65% of expenditure on the benefit goes to families who earn more.

General secretary Tim Roache said: 'These plans should concern all parents and everyone who works in schools.

'At least one hot, nutritious meal a day should be a fundamental right for all pupils. Instead thousands of kids from deprived backgrounds are now being threatened by a new cut disguised as a kindness.

'GMB members working in schools already encounter children with no food at home, and see packed lunches of no more than crisps or chocolate, because parents are struggling to make ends meet.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41475 per annum + plus benefits
We are one of the most effective and progressive Children and Families Service in the country. Our vision is to support families through strengths bas England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £34017 per annum
This opportunity is to be offered on a 6-month, fixed term / secondment contract basisInterviews scheduled to be held Friday 17th April Job Purpose Es England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Social Worker or Senior OT - Older Adults Team

Essex County Council
£38400 - £46475 per annum
Interviews for this role will take place via video calling using Microsoft Teams.Seeking skilled, motivated Senior Social Workers and Senior OT's who England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Litigation Solicitor

Thanet District Council
Starting Salary £41,676 per annum, with opportunity for progression to £47,508 per annum.
We are a small and friendly team and are looking to expand with a number of senior legal roles Thanet, Kent
Recuriter: Thanet District Council

Information Governance and Equalities Manager

Thanet District Council
Starting salary of £38,916 per annum, with opportunity for progression to £44,352 per annum
We are a small and friendly team and are looking to expand with a number of senior legal roles Thanet, Kent
Recuriter: Thanet District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue