“We are delighted that more children are finding school meals to their liking; and more parents are finding it an increasingly cost-effective way of ensuring their children get a healthy and appetising lunch.
The increased take-up is an example of schools, local authorities and caterers all working well together, with national standards providing a strong framework for everyone.
We need to speed up the pace of improvements and ensure all schools are included, not change direction or allow academies to opt-out. Rather than down-playing the crucial role that mandatory standards have had in achieving four years of increased take-up and better quality food, the Leon Review into School Meals should put them at the heart of their inquiry.
However, one area that needs additional action is the number of children still missing out on the chance to benefit from healthy school meals. We believe all school children from families living in poverty should be eligible for free school meals. There's also a very persuasive argument for government providing funding for free school breakfasts to all children who receive a free school meal at lunchtime.”