School Meals Not Filling Welsh Primary Pupils: According to new findings from the Children’s Commissioner, half of younger primary school children in Wales remain hungry either all or some of the time following their school dinner. Among older primary school pupils (aged 9-11) this figure increased – to 70%.
The research, based on responses from more than 1000 primary and secondary school pupils to an online questionnaire earlier this year, found that 27% of five and eight year old pupils felt hungry after their school lunch, with a further 27% sometimes feeling hungry after their meal.
This rose to 29% among those aged nine to eleven who were always hungry following their school meal, and a further 41% who sometimes felt hungry.
According to the Welsh Government guidance, a school lunch should provide around 30% of a student’s estimated average energy requirement, and schools and local authorities are legally required to comply with this guidance.
An Extra 1.3 Million Pupils Receiving Free School Meals
The news comes in the wake of Nick Clegg’s announcement that an extra 1.3 million infant pupils in England are in receipt of a free school dinner – taking the overall figure to around 85% of children in England. School meals were made free for all in September.
Whilst the Deputy Prime Minister has discussed the positives of this, school leaders have suggested that the universal free school for infants could have the unintended consequence of meaning that schools miss out on some pupil premium funding – which parents must now sign up for separately to free school meals. In previous years, pupil premium funding was given to pupils based on their entitlement to free school meals.
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