Welcoming the announcement, South Down MLA Chris Hazzard said: “Free school meals and uniform grants are vital for many families struggling under financial pressure. A healthy, nutritious meal is also vital to a child’s development in school because a hungry child will not learn and will not reach their full potential.
“Therefore, I am delighted that the minister has confirmed that he will extend the criteria so that post-primary pupils from our lowest income families will be supported with access to free school meals in the same way as primary pupils. This will come into effect in September 2014 and it is estimated that this will benefit 15,000 children. It also ensures that the post-primary schools they attend will receive additional financial support.
“This is part of an overall £30 million package, announced by the Minister, which is targeted directly at schools teaching children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thousands of families will directly benefit from this latest example of Sinn Féin’s commitment to deliver real change in our society,” added Mr Hazzard.]]>