Debates between Mr Gavin Shuker and Justine Greening

There have been 1 exchanges between Mr Gavin Shuker and Justine Greening

1 Mon 11th September 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Education
4 interactions (323 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mr Gavin Shuker and Justine Greening
Monday 11th September 2017

(3 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Education
Mr Gavin Shuker (Luton South) (Lab/Co-op) Hansard

9. What assessment she has made of the effect on children's nutrition of the absence of free primary school meals in the school holidays. [900747]

The Secretary of State for Education (Justine Greening) Hansard
11 Sep 2017, 3:08 p.m.

The Government actively support the provision of nutritious food in schools. Free school meals are provided for the most disadvantaged pupils, and for every pupil in reception years 1 and 2. We have also committed £26 million to expand breakfast clubs in up to 1,600 schools. More broadly, we believe that helping households to raise their incomes by allowing them to be in work is the best way to lift families out of poverty and help children to lead healthy lives.

Mr Shuker Hansard
11 Sep 2017, 3:08 p.m.

May I commend to the Secretary of State the private Member’s Bill tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field), which will tackle the problem properly by ensuring that children who receive free school meals in term time also receive nutritious meals outside term time? If she feels that she cannot offer Government support for the Bill, may I also commend to her a charity in my constituency, Make Lunch, which is now providing meals in 50 locations —entrepreneurially, off its own bat—to tackle the problem, and will she arrange a short meeting with a Minister to discuss it?

Justine Greening Hansard
11 Sep 2017, 3:09 p.m.

As the hon. Gentleman sets out, there is a lot of good work happening in this area, and from my perspective, aside from what happens in schools during term-time, there are two key elements: having a strong economy that is providing people with jobs and employment, and, secondly, making sure people get to keep as much of their pay packet as possible, which is why we have not only introduced the national living wage but have increased the personal allowance. If we take those two things together, we see that somebody working 35 hours on the national minimum wage, now the national living wage, will have gained by £3,300 more through those two policies.