Debates between Baroness D'Souza and Baroness Barran during the 2019 Parliament

School Meals: Funding

Debate between Baroness D'Souza and Baroness Barran
Tuesday 13th December 2022

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D’Souza
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To ask His Majesty’s Government which government departments share responsibility for (1) the funding of, and (2) and decisions about, school meals in (a) term times, and (b) vacations.

Baroness Barran Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education (Baroness Barran) (Con)
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My Lords, free school meals are intended to support children in term time while they are being educated in school. They are funded by the Department for Education. The department also provides the holiday activities and food programme during the longer school holidays. The policy regarding eligibility for free school meals is also set by the Department for Education. School food standards are set in secondary legislation and are the responsibility of schools to implement.

Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D’Souza (CB)
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I thank the Minister for her Answer. Given the depth and spread of need in a whole generation of our children, does the Minister agree that a senior Minister—preferably at Cabinet level—should be appointed to oversee, co-ordinate, prioritise and extend free school meals for children immediately, thereby also providing a powerful voice for children at the heart of government?

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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The noble Baroness will be aware that this Government have extended the reach of free school meals in many important ways, including the provision of universal infant free school meals and further education free school meals. In relation to a Cabinet-level position, the House will be aware that in his independent review of children’s social care, Josh MacAlister recommended a Cabinet-level post of Minister for Children and his recommendations are currently under consideration.