To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding he is allocating to further education colleges for students who experience food poverty; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing free school meals for such students.
26 April 2021
The government recognises the benefits of providing a healthy meal to the most disadvantaged students and is committed to providing free meals to those that need them.
From September 2014, further education institutions have been required to make provision for free meals to eligible disadvantaged students. The institution can decide for themselves whether to offer a meal, or a voucher or credit to exchange for a meal on-site or off-site.
Further guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/free-meals-in-further-education-funded-institutions-guide-for-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year.
Additionally, the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, introduced in 2011, provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education. It can be used in conjunction with free meals in further education funding, to meet individual student needs.