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

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough 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