Leading up to the Chancellor’s Budget speech this week, over 750 local councilors have signed a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding greater support for strugglies families.
The letter, which was organised by the NEU’s Councillors’ Network, requests that the government guarantee free school meals (FSM) for all children from low-income families.
Universal Credit is currently received by the parents and carers of 1.7 million children and young people who are missing out on this important service all year round.
These households have a monthly salary that falls below the U.K. daily minimum wage of £20.27.
The full text of the letter can be found below:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to express our disappointment that the Spending Review announcement in
November 2020 did not go further to ensure children from low-income families have access
to Free School Meals (FSM).
No child should attend school too hungry to learn, or struggle to concentrate because their
family is unable to afford a healthy lunch.
Last year, the high degree of public support for Free School Meals was demonstrated by
Marcus Rashford’s powerful advocacy, alongside widespread local action and community
groups. The Government also acknowledged the importance of ensuring children get at
least one guaranteed meal a day, when it extended FSM during the school holidays last
However, at least 1.7 million children and young people in families in receipt of Universal
Credit miss out on this vital support all year round. We are calling on you to expand FSM
provision eligibility to include these children.
Coronavirus is having a far greater impact on the lives and educational experiences of
children from disadvantaged and low-income families. There is significant financial pressure
on thousands of families, some of whom are existing on as little as £20.27 a day.
You have emphasised your Government’s determination to ‘level up’. Reshaping FSM
provision to include children growing up in families in receipt of Universal Credit will provide
an additional 1.7 million children with what they need to learn, thrive and achieve their full
We urge you to make sure these families can access Free School Meals, so we can ensure
that no child is left behind.
The letter is signed by 757 local councillors from across England. Their names can be found here.