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Bournemouth schools looking at free lunch plans for children under seven
BOURNEMOUTH schools are being assessed to work out how they can logistically offer every child under seven a free school meal.
The government intends to offer every child in reception, Year One and Year Two a free hot lunch from next September – but this could prove a headache for some primaries in Bournemouth.
Just one primary school in the borough currently has a full production kitchen on site, the others will either have to have hot food delivered or use regeneration kitchens to reheat pre-prepared meals.
But with so many of the town’s schools being expanded over the past five years, some of the larger primary schools could struggle just to find space for the younger pupils to eat their hot lunches.
While all Bournemouth schools meet their obligations to offer free school meals to disadvantaged pupils, they do not all currently offer all pupils the choice of a hot lunch.
Deputy Leader Cllr Nicola Greene, cabinet member for education and children’s services, said: “The council fully supports the government’s intention to offer all Key Stage One pupils a free school meal.
“We await further information from government on how this commitment is to be funded. In the meantime we are undertaking work to ascertain the capacity of our schools to prepare the increased number of meals.”
The situation is better in Poole, where just two of the 21 schools with infant-aged pupils have neither a kitchen or servery. And in Dorset, there is just one school that doesn’t have a kitchen or a servery.
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