While DPM Nick Clegg insists that his £600m school meals pledge is fully funded, FOI requests reveal a £23m funding gap with schools being asked to raid their own budgets to make up shortfall, according to a recent article in the Daily Mail.
Schools in some parts of the country are having to raid their own budgets to pay for the plan to give four to seven-year-old pupils free meals. In some areas, schools themselves could have to pay towards the expensive kitchen and dining room upgrades needed to deliver the policy.
In Somerset, primaries with more than 150 pupils are being asked to contribute a total of £250,000 – 25 per cent of the cost of improving kitchens, and Lambeth council in London said schools will be funding £150,000 worth of upgrades.
Overall, across 29 councils, there is a funding shortfall of at least £23million.
Depressing reading in these difficult financial times.