London

Free school meals: Hammersmith and Fulham 'declares war' on food poverty

School children eating lunch Image copyright H&F Council
Image caption The free school lunches will start in January 2020 and will be offered to two secondary schools in the borough

A council has "declared war on food poverty" and says it will offer free breakfast to every primary school pupil in a west London borough next term.

And in a pilot scheme, free lunches will also be offered to two secondary schools in Hammersmith and Fulham from January 2020.

The council says it is a "first in England and Wales".

Funding will be provided through other planning obligations called Section 106 agreements, the authority added.

The children missing out on free school meals

Free school meals are changing but will children lose out?

Free school meals 'stigma' worries could have knock-on effect

"Our schools are now the frontline in our war against hunger," council leader Stephen Cowan said.

The £3.7m-scheme means the council fund around 10,000 primary school pupils that provide breakfast clubs to make them free to parents.

It is said it "could save a struggling family £380 per year" for every child in primary school.

"The new breakfast funding from Hammersmith and Fulham could also save every primary school £5,700 a year," it added.

Free school lunches will be offered to just over 700 pupils at Fulham College Boys' School and Woodlane High School in the new year.

Sally Brooks, head teacher at Fulham College Boys' School, said: "The impact of free school lunches for our students - especially those who are disadvantaged - will be immeasurable."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites