Free school meals for all kids up to 11 lanched by Tower Hamlets council

Serving up school meals in term time... Stepney's Ben Johnson Primary

Serving up school meals in term time... Stepney's Ben Johnson Primary - Credit: TH Council

Primary schools are returning for the new term in London’s deprived East End with free meals for all children up to 11.

The scheme paid for out of Town Hall coffers is being launched by Tower Hamlets council next Tuesday when the Mayor joins youngsters for lunch at Chisenhale Primary in Bow.

The local authority is the first to give free lunch to all primary pupils, after its pilot scheme last year for Reception and Year-1 children.

The idea has since been adopted by the government for the first three year groups.

But Tower Hamlets is taking it further by giving all children up to Year 6 free lunch as part of a policy to give youngsters a better start in life. Well-nourished children concentrate and learn better, researchers have found.


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The council’s school catering service was recently named best in Britain, for using fresh produce from sustainable sources. The authority has also been named as one of only four London councils to have been given an A* rating by the Marine Stewardship Council, which runs the world standard for sustainable seafood.

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