FactCheck: Labour aren't telling the full story about free school meals
"It is an absolute scandal that the Conservatives are pressing ahead with a plan that could leave over a million children without a hot meal in schools. "
That was the claim from Labour's shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, last week.
But it's not quite the full story. Here's why.
Who gets a free school meal?
Children in England who are in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are all entitled to free school meals. That’s not changing. Where it gets complicated is when we look at what happens from Year 3 onwards.
Since 2013, the government has been rolling out Universal Credit, replacing the old benefits system. Some areas, like Croydon, have already switched; others are still waiting.
Under the old system, children are entitled to free school meals if their parents receive an out of work benefit like Jobseekers’ Allowance. They only lose their entitlement once their parent or parents start working 16 hours a week (if there’s one adult in the house), or 24 hours a week (if there are two).Read Full Article