25 Nov The Digital Economy Bill – free school meals for all eligible children
This is a modified version of an original NAHT news page.
As governors, we know that not every one of those children who is eligible to claim free school meals does so. This impacts on the life chances of the child, and our schools lose out on pupil premium funding. With the recent Autumn statement offering no additional funds for schools struggling with reduced budgets, this is another contributing factor to the financial pressures on our schools.
The NAHT has long campaigned to ensure eligible children are auto-enrolled to receive free school meals by allowing local authorities to share benefit data with schools.
The Digital Economy Bill creates an opportunity to deliver this, and the NAHT is calling on MPs to support new clause 19. Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, says:
“To help ensure we get the right support into the right areas, NAHT has pressed the government to ensure all of those eligible for free school meals automatically claim them. This small change could be delivered just by allowing councils to share benefit data with schools. This would benefit pupils and their schools, which would see a boost in the amount of pupil premium funding they receive to support these pupils.”
This is a small change that can make a huge difference to the most disadvantaged children – so if you’re able to, please download the letter template for governors and trustees today, complete it and send it to your MP – either as an attachment or in the text of an email. Do this soon, as the debate on the relevant clause is Monday 28th November, so please e-mail your MP today or over the weekend if possible. You can find your MP’s e-mail address here.