Bath and North East Somerset Council has been praised by the government for its implementation of free school meals for infants across the local area.
Across the B&NES area, all primary schools are now serving a free, hot meal at lunchtime to 4, 5 and 6 year olds.
Schools Minister David Laws MP wrote to the Council to say thank you for the support given to schools in the area to help them successfully implement the policy.
Councillor Dine Romero (Liberal Democrat, Southdown ward), commented: “Our education team worked incredibly hard to make sure that local schools were ready to go on universal infant free school meals as soon as the autumn term started.
“This policy is great news for children and parents. It will help to boost educational attainment, instil healthy eating habits, and save parents and carers up to £400 per year per child.”
Bath & North East Somerset Council worked with local infant and primary schools to make sure that school kitchens were fully equipped and adapted ready for the service to start.
Schools that do not have kitchens will receive fresh and healthy hot food each day, transported in from a nearby ‘hub’ kitchen and served by catering staff.
The Government provided £406,000 for this work and the Council added an extra £100,000 to add extra capacity to ensure the schools and the Council’s catering service can expand as demand rises.
Larkhall community kitchen has been expanded into a larger ‘hub’ kitchen and will provide hot meals to four local schools without kitchen facilities. St Michaels become a hub kitchen and will provide meals to two schools and four local nurseries.
Small production kitchens have been put in at Newbridge and St Stephens. 15 mobile hot trolleys have been delivered to schools that require extra service areas.