Warm welcome for free hot dinners

school dinners
school dinners

Headteachers in the Daventry area have welcomed plans announced by the Government to provide free school meals for infant aged school children.

The proposal was revealed by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and many have said it could have enormous benefits.

Nick Atherton, the vice principal for the primary and nursery at the Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village, said: “It is really positive, since a healthy nutritious diet will help to give children healthy eating habits which will truly benefit learning and concentration, leading to higher attainment.

“I do hope that over time provision will extend to include all primary aged children, since this commitment will certainly offer genuine support to families.”

Headteacher at Long Buckby Infant School, Sarah Dugdale, said: “I think it is a fantastic idea. It will help give children a balanced meal and I think it will help remove the stigma that is attached to free school meals.

“I would hope for a greater uptake from our school once this comes in.”

It will see children up to Year Two entitled to free school meals from the start of the next academic year.

Coleen Wilkins, headteacher at Falconer’s Hill Infant School, said: “In theory the idea sounds wonderful.

“There are however factors that need to be taken into consideration. Some families like to eat a hot meal together in the evenings and that is why they send children with a packed meal at lunchtime.

“We don’t want to deter that family meal from taking place because it is such an important social time at home.

“It is very important we continue to meet the needs of children who would not receive a wholesome meal during the day but this is not true of everyone. In addition, the present capacity of schools’ kitchens may not be sufficient to provide meals for so many children.”