free school meals

(36 Posts)
Jemstone Tue 29-Oct-13 17:06:46

I understand from next year all ks1 children will get free school meals. What will happen in schools which currently do not offer a hot meal and all children have to bring in packed lunch?

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 14:34:49

It didn't effect ours tweety

tweetytwat Wed 30-Oct-13 14:21:43

cynical side wonders if spending x on free lunches will save 3x on pupil premiumwink

NynaevesSister Wed 30-Oct-13 14:13:17

It is simpler for parents - there's just one form. But there's no incentive and many of these parents needed support to fill out the paperwork before. Some schools in the pilot area have set up inventive schemes. Such as free school uniform items if you fill in the forms. The trade off for them is that £10 to £30 on school uniform is worth it for the £600 in PP or however much it is. Plus these are families that can do with school uniform help.

Other schools have, anectodectly, struggled and have seen a drop in PP.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 13:54:57

PP is based on the past 3 years not just current claims

tweetytwat Wed 30-Oct-13 13:53:26

We have a meeting coming up so I will see if we/they know more about it yet.

I know they apply at the moment, how else can they know who qualifies <making my own brain melt> regretting this NC for discussing governors stuff grin

Here is a Christmas gift for you

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 13:45:10

I would have to check but I don't think parents had to apply

tweetytwat Wed 30-Oct-13 13:44:45

Over half our pupils qualify under the 6 year rules. Our budget would crumble, to say the least.

tweetytwat Wed 30-Oct-13 13:43:38

But will people apply, if their children are in KS1 and getting the FSM anyway?

I know how important PP is to our school's budget - the FSM is kind of the 'carrot' for parents to apply. If the carrot is no longer there, will the schools have trouble accessing the full amount of PP they would be getting.

I can't helping thinking that if 'only' the school will gain, and not the parents, will they bother to apply, IYKWIM. I'm not sure whether I would bother applying for something that I didn't directly get any perk from. <with my governor head on>

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 13:28:09

It's a question we asked as a school in the pilot area where all our pupils received free meals ... PP was still based on entitlement to certain benefits

tweetytwat Wed 30-Oct-13 13:22:50

How will this affect Pupil Premium? If parents no longer need to apply for FSM, how will that be calculated?

NynaevesSister Wed 30-Oct-13 13:11:17

I didn't say anything about stigma. I was talking about a general perception and yes 5 and 6 year olds are more perceptive than you give them credit for. But extends to parents and how they feel too.

Crazy Kat I don't understand your point? If your children don't eat enough of a school dinner to justify paying £9 then just send them in with a packed lunch.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 13:00:29
elskovs Wed 30-Oct-13 12:58:20

"It takes away the charity aspect of FSM. When they are available to all, children on FSM feel that they as the same and equal to everyone else"

I don't believe this can be the reason behind FSM for all primary children. Primary aged children aren't aware of a stigma - its in secondary where they will notice who is poor. Its just not plausible. Neither is the reason about it being cheaper to serve in bulk.

I agree there are low income working families who would benefit, but it still doesn't explain why goodness knows how many who have lost CB now get FSM.

I wont believe it until it happens

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 10:23:13

I think the plan is to extend it to older children in the future

crazykat Wed 30-Oct-13 10:20:58

What happens if DCs don't like what's on offer? Looking at the menu ours had for last half term, mine wouldn't have eaten much. There's no way we can afford the £9 each for them to not eat much and then need a packed lunch type meal when they get home and then something later on.

If it was free I'd let them try it and if they don't eat enough I'd be sending them with a packed lunch.

What happens though when DCs are used to a hot meal at school, then in year three when it needs to be paid for and their parents can't afford it? That will cause problems especially if younger siblings are getting a hot meal still and they don't.

If its going to be free, it should be for all primary aged children. Or even better, instead of completely free, just make it cheaper so instead of costing £9 per child per week make it half that with the rest subsidised by the government but for all primary aged children.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 09:50:14

one of the arguments for free meals for all is that universal take up reduces costs especially in small schools.

NynaevesSister Wed 30-Oct-13 09:15:11

It takes away the charity aspect of FSM. When they are available to all, children on FSM feel that they as the same and equal to everyone else. They have more confidence and so better. Outstanding schools I have seen have put money into subsidising school meals so they are very good value and nutritious with the result they have 90% uptake across all children.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 09:00:35

In both Islington and Durham, free school meal pilots have proven to increase children’s performance at school – especially the less well-off children – and give them a critical helping hand out of poverty as a result. Children were two months ahead of their peers in other schools, had better exam results in both key stage 1 and key stage 2, and their teachers observed a big improvement in concentration.

^It will take financial pressure off the 500,000 ‘working poor’ who are not eligible for free school meals and ensure that their children eat well at school.^"

elskovs Wed 30-Oct-13 06:59:56

Its a ridiculous idea - we have lost our child benefit, but are gaining free school meals for the eldest 2 (not that we would take them)

Whats the reasoning behind that?

The packed lunch boxes provided in our area (no hot meals) are very varied and healthy - interesting fillings in sandwiches and wraps, fruit and no chocolate bars or crisps.

Periwinkle007 Tue 29-Oct-13 22:28:42

and these will be the same parents who don't read the leaflets about healthy eating etc.

I worry about putting in a little cake or biscuit for my kids. They get sandwich (cheese/meat) or wrap, fruit, salad and then some sort of little cake/biscuit/malt loaf/bake bar etc but never crisps, chocolate or sweets.

This is sadly where so many parents need educating but it is the same as it has been for well years and I can't see how anyone will ever change it except by providing healthy food within the school for these children.

the hot dinners at our school are good but I just don't want them eating 2 cooked meals a day and would prefer they have a lighter lunch and then a meal as a family in the evening. Having said that I used to from being about 8 so maybe I will change my mind.

simpson Tue 29-Oct-13 21:18:51

Forgot to say both my DC have school dinners daily and they are pretty good. They don't provide sandwiches though.

simpson Tue 29-Oct-13 21:17:32

I volunteer in a reception class on a Wednesday and one boy has pizza slices (4 of them, they are massive and his mother expects him to eat it all) along with crisps, cake, juice etc.

mrz Tue 29-Oct-13 21:07:39

this year I have a child whose packed lunch was a packet of Doritos, a large bag of Haribo and a net of chocolate coins

mrz Tue 29-Oct-13 21:05:55

I can only speak for my school and schools I know personally but they provided a choice of hot meals or sandwiches for all children (not just infants).

I taught a boy a few years ago who had sugar sandwiches everyday and would hide his lunchbox so we would give him a school dinner

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