NDM7598 - Opposition DebateTabled on 17/02/2021 | For debate on 24/02/2021
To propose that the Senedd:
Calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that the unallocated fiscal resource in the draft 2021-22 budget is used in the final budget for 2021-22 to expand free school meal eligibility criteria to include all children in families in receipt of universal credit or equivalent benefit and any child in a family with no recourse to public funds.
Delete all and replace with:
1. Believes that it is unacceptable in a modern society that children still go hungry and that we will continue to step-up all our efforts in the provision of free school meals to stamp out the scourge of poverty and hunger.
2. Welcomes that the Welsh Government:
a) provided over £50 million of additional funding to ensure the continued provision of free school meals during the pandemic and was the first government in the UK to provide provision during school holidays;
b) provided additional funding to ensure that children who are self-isolating or shielding continue to receive free school meal provision when they are not able to attend school;
c) provides funding of £19.50 per week to free school meal-eligible families, which is the most generous provision in the UK;
d) ensured that Wales remains the only country in the UK to have a universal free breakfasts in primary schools scheme;
e) has been recognised by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) for being successful in ensuring families eligible for free school meals during the pandemic had “access to timely and appropriate support”;
f) is committed to a rapid review of all available resource and policy options including the income threshold for receiving free school meals based on the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) data.