Tower Hamlets has become the first Local Authority in the country to officially approve the roll-out of Universal Free School Meals for secondary students. The announcement was made by Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, on his official Twitter account.
The Universal Free School Meals program is designed to provide funding for all government-funded schools, enabling them to offer free school meals to their students. Tower Hamlets has been at the forefront of this initiative, having successfully implemented universal primary free school meals for the past ten years.
The recent decision by the Tower Hamlets Cabinet to extend free school meals to all secondary school pupils up to the age of 16 further strengthens their commitment to ensuring children have access to healthy food during the school day, regardless of their parents’ income.
Tower Hamlets has been funding universal lunches for primary school pupils since 2014, and now joins a select group of London councils that are expanding the provision to older age groups. By making free school meals available to all secondary students, Tower Hamlets is setting a precedent for other local authorities across the country.
Lutfur Rahman’s tweet, posted on his official Twitter account, confirms the Cabinet’s approval and highlights the significance of this decision. The tweet can be viewed here.
The move to extend free school meals to secondary students addresses a critical issue of food insecurity among children and aims to improve their overall well-being and educational outcomes. Research has shown that proper nutrition plays a crucial role in a child’s development, impacting their ability to concentrate and learn effectively in the classroom.
Tower Hamlets’ pioneering efforts in providing universal free school meals serve as a model for other local authorities in their commitment to supporting children’s welfare and ensuring equal opportunities for all students.
As Tower Hamlets takes the lead in this nationwide initiative, it is anticipated that other regions and local authorities will follow suit, prioritizing the well-being of their students and striving to eliminate the stigma associated with receiving free school meals.
With the introduction of universal free school meals for secondary students, Tower Hamlets is setting a new standard in promoting equal access to nutritious meals for all school-aged children, setting them on a path toward a healthier and more productive future.