Laura Sharman 20 June 2022

Universal free school meals in Wales to start from September

Universal free school meals in Wales to start from September image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Every primary school pupil in Wales will receive a free school meal by 2024, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

Local authorities will receive funding to start the roll-out of universal free school meals from September to children in Reception classes.

Those in Years 1 and 2 will start receiving free school meals by April 2023. Local authorities have been given the freedom and funding to start delivering these free meals sooner if they can.

Jeremy Miles, minister for education and the Welsh language said: 'No child should ever be at school hungry. Given the pressure so many families are under with the increases in the cost-of-living we are absolutely committed to taking practical measures to support our children and young people.

'Our new programme of universal free school meals for primary children is one of the key ways we are looking to help families. Younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, so we are starting with a decent free school meal for children in Reception from September, with most children in Year 1 and Year 2 also getting free school meals by next April.'

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are providing local authorities with £225m to deliver the scheme over the next three years.

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