Funding boost for schools where kids tuck into free school meals
HUNDREDS of families are missing out on free school meals for the sake of filling out one form.
Swansea Council's meals team is calling on parents to check out if they are eligible for the meals and missing the chance for their child to join Captain Jack's healthy eating crew for free.
Parents who sign-up from April 2012 will also be securing additional funding to boost education in their schools.
The new Welsh Government pupil deprivation grant means £450 will go directly to schools for every child entitled to receive free school meals. This will target key skills such as reading and maths.
Bet Jenkins, Swansea Council's Catering Facilities Manager, said: "There are very clear benefits for children who have free school meals.
"But under the new Welsh Government grant schools will be given extra funding to specifically dedicate to supporting all pupils in the school with literacy and maths if eligible families apply for free school meals."
She added: "School meals offer great value for money by offering two courses and a drink at the bargain price of £1.95 with free salad and bread, but there are hundreds of children in Swansea who could be getting all of that for free.
"We would like to reassure parents that who gets free school meals is confidential between the parent and school. The children are not treated any differently at meal times; they're served the same meals in the same way as their fellow pupils so they are not singled out in any way.
"Children get a choice of meals which meet strict government guidelines as well as the fussiest of appetites and the team ensure that they are as healthy as they are tempting to the eye and tasty to eat
"We actively encourage parents who qualify to make a claim for free school meals. It's easy to do as parents now only have to fill in the form once and they will be treating their children to a delicious meal while also adding extra funding to schools."
Parents fill out a form just once to claim a free school meal. Details of who is eligible are available at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=40836
Forms are also available from schools.
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