Birmingham's Labour council leader John Clancy said he wants Birmingham to become a free school meals city, and has started taking steps to achieve this. A free school meals trust has been set up and plans have been put in place to attract funding and sponsorship from businesses and charities to speed up the process.
Mr Clancy has been called on to deliver his promise immediately. In his first full council meeting as leader he confirmed that the rollout would be incremental, school by school, as funding is secured.
"Safeguarding children is the number one priority for this council. Free school meals is something which for a number of years I have felt is very important," Mr Clancy said.
Free school meals were introduced for all children up to the age of seven by the coalition government two years ago. This new initiative will provide meals to pupils of all ages who attend primary school.
The aim of the trust isn't just to help families with the costs of feeding their children, but will improve attainment, impact on school performance and improve the health of pupils.
The council leader has already spoken to the Children’s Society charity, and has stated that the trust would involve a number of partner organisations. He hopes the trust will appeal to business for support, including big businesses in Birmingham like Asda and Primark as part of their commitments to corporate social responsibility.
Posted by Harriet McGowan