Universal Primary Free School Meals are to be rolled out early to all Year 1 pupils in Denbighshire from January 2023.
In December 2021 Welsh
Government (WG) announced plans to offer free meals to all primary school
pupils. The phased delivery approach would be implemented from 1st September
2022 to September 2024.
Following the initial receipt
of £859,000 from Welsh Government to support the roll out of Universal Primary
Free School Meals (UPFSM) across Denbighshire, works were undertaken throughout
the summer, and completed in August 2022, at 13 sites across the county to
increase the capacity of the Authority’s primary school kitchens.
Due to the successful
completion of these works Denbighshire County Council rolled out Universal
Primary Free School Meals to all Reception pupils from September 2022.
A second allocation of
£1.2million of funding has now been received from Welsh Government and will be
used to undertake further refurbishment works on both dining and kitchen
facilities throughout 2023 in order to ensure that all primary pupils have access
to Universal Primary Free School Meals by September 2024.
Despite rollout to Years 1
& 2 not being scheduled until Easter 2023, the Authority has now announced
it is ready to expand the offer to Year 1 pupils as of January 2023.
From the start of the Spring
term Reception and Year 1 pupils in Denbighshire schools will be asked on a
daily basis whether or not they would like to access a school meal. They will
be able to opt in or out without having to pre book and the meal will be
provided free of charge.
Further information will be
available on the Denbighshire website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/education.
If pupils are already in receipt of free school meals and/or any other
associated benefits, these will not be affected.
A further rollout of Universal
Primary Free School Meals up to year 2 is still anticipated for Easter 2023.
Gill German, Lead member for
Education Children and Families said, “It is fantastic news for Denbighshire
pupils that the Authority will be able to rollout the Universal Primary Free
School Meal offer up to Year 1 ahead of schedule. With mounting pressures
around the cost of living the sooner we are able to offer this support to our
communities the better.”
The next phase of refurbishment
works will focus on ensuring that all Denbighshire Primary schools are able to
deliver up to Year 2 by Easter 2023 followed by year 3 & 4 from September