Blackburn with Darwen under 7s will get a free school meal

Blackburn with Darwen under 7s will get a free school meal

Blackburn with Darwen under 7s will get a free school meal

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

BLACKBURN with Darwen Council has said it is ready to implement the Government’s new policy of free school meals to all primary school children up to age seven.

Figures had shown a shortfall of £150,000 in the cash being paid to the authority by central government.

But the Department for Education said more than 99 per cent of schools had said they were ready to implement the new policy of universal infant free school meals (UIFSM).

This week the council said that all of its money was in place for the scheme.

Earlier this year the Labour Party submitted a Freedom of Information request asking all councils if they had received enough cash from the Government to start the UIFSMs in September.

And the response from Blackburn with Darwen Council at the time based on 6,399 pupils being eligible, said it had not and that the shortfall was £150,000.

Since then, a review has been carried out and the council said it was ready to implement the new policy.

Will Straw, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Rossendale and Darwen, had called on the Government to urgently address the situation when the shortfall was identified.

In a letter to council chief executive Harry Catherall, Minister of State for Schools David Laws said: “Based on the information you have provided to us and follow-up discussion with my officials, it appears to us that all maintained, voluntary-aided schools and academies in Blackburn with Darwen are on track to implement UIFSM from September.”

Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry said: “I received confirmation earlier this month from the Department of Education that all schools in Blackburn with Darwen will be ready to offer free school meals to every child in infants from September.”

  • Lancashire County Council responded to the information request to say it had enough money to implement UIFSMs.

Comments (15)

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7:23am Thu 31 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets.

And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least.

I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer.
There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets. And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least. I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 5

8:08am Thu 31 Jul 14

benjiw says...

They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There.

The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears.

If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens
foodtrust.org.uk/sch
ools/the-standards/r
evised-standards/res
ources
They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There. The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears. If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens foodtrust.org.uk/sch ools/the-standards/r evised-standards/res ources benjiw
  • Score: 5

8:58am Thu 31 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

benjiw wrote:
They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There.

The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears.

If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens

foodtrust.org.uk/sch

ools/the-standards/r

evised-standards/res

ources
Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again.

To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer.
[quote][p][bold]benjiw[/bold] wrote: They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There. The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears. If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens foodtrust.org.uk/sch ools/the-standards/r evised-standards/res ources[/p][/quote]Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again. To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 10

10:51am Thu 31 Jul 14

woolywords says...

Back in the day, when I was at school, we had school dinners but even then, some kids were on free ones, for whatever reason.
Since then, benefits have not kept pace with the rises in rents, rates nor fuel costs. So the very poorest in our society have to apply for free school meals, in order to keep up a basic standard of nutrition that few can afford.
Better that we chip towards the cost via taxes than the medical costs that malnutrition brings with it.
Back in the day, when I was at school, we had school dinners but even then, some kids were on free ones, for whatever reason. Since then, benefits have not kept pace with the rises in rents, rates nor fuel costs. So the very poorest in our society have to apply for free school meals, in order to keep up a basic standard of nutrition that few can afford. Better that we chip towards the cost via taxes than the medical costs that malnutrition brings with it. woolywords
  • Score: -8

11:24am Thu 31 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

woolywords wrote:
Back in the day, when I was at school, we had school dinners but even then, some kids were on free ones, for whatever reason.
Since then, benefits have not kept pace with the rises in rents, rates nor fuel costs. So the very poorest in our society have to apply for free school meals, in order to keep up a basic standard of nutrition that few can afford.
Better that we chip towards the cost via taxes than the medical costs that malnutrition brings with it.
There is a bigger picture here. Back then there were some kids on free meals where necessary and now we are giving free meals to all.

Benefits have certainly kept pace with increases in costs and far outstripped them. Benefits used to be a helping hand for the genuinely poor or those with unfortunate circumstances. Now we have very generous benefits, including 'in work' benefits to top up wages and out of work benefits that are higher than a lot of peoples wages. Those with kids particularly benefit from the welfare system as we seem to throw money at people for breeding.

And as for the rises in rent, rates, fuel and everything else, why are they rising? Rent due to excessive government red tape and taxes, fuel due to green taxes and government environmental interventions and subsidies for useless green energy schemes. The whole cost of living issue is largely the responsibility of government.

The more money we give to people, the more they will expect. People are supposed to weigh up the financial cost of having children before doing so. They no longer have to do that. They now know that they can have kids and we will pay for them. If we object, we are told to think of the children as it's not their fault.

This is no longer an issue of helping out the poor. It's gone way beyond that.

I don't think malnutrition is a huge issue with large associated costs in this country. If we are just looking at a cost / benefit analysis, the cost of treating the odd genuine case of malnutrition would be far, far less than the cost of feeding everyones children until they reach the age of seven.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: Back in the day, when I was at school, we had school dinners but even then, some kids were on free ones, for whatever reason. Since then, benefits have not kept pace with the rises in rents, rates nor fuel costs. So the very poorest in our society have to apply for free school meals, in order to keep up a basic standard of nutrition that few can afford. Better that we chip towards the cost via taxes than the medical costs that malnutrition brings with it.[/p][/quote]There is a bigger picture here. Back then there were some kids on free meals where necessary and now we are giving free meals to all. Benefits have certainly kept pace with increases in costs and far outstripped them. Benefits used to be a helping hand for the genuinely poor or those with unfortunate circumstances. Now we have very generous benefits, including 'in work' benefits to top up wages and out of work benefits that are higher than a lot of peoples wages. Those with kids particularly benefit from the welfare system as we seem to throw money at people for breeding. And as for the rises in rent, rates, fuel and everything else, why are they rising? Rent due to excessive government red tape and taxes, fuel due to green taxes and government environmental interventions and subsidies for useless green energy schemes. The whole cost of living issue is largely the responsibility of government. The more money we give to people, the more they will expect. People are supposed to weigh up the financial cost of having children before doing so. They no longer have to do that. They now know that they can have kids and we will pay for them. If we object, we are told to think of the children as it's not their fault. This is no longer an issue of helping out the poor. It's gone way beyond that. I don't think malnutrition is a huge issue with large associated costs in this country. If we are just looking at a cost / benefit analysis, the cost of treating the odd genuine case of malnutrition would be far, far less than the cost of feeding everyones children until they reach the age of seven. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 10

11:38am Thu 31 Jul 14

jimpy0 says...

so all kids will be force fed halal meat ???????
so all kids will be force fed halal meat ??????? jimpy0
  • Score: 4

1:27pm Thu 31 Jul 14

CapitaBackHander says...

BuckoTheMoose wrote:
There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets.

And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least.

I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer.
How stupid. First off it is a stock photo - could be many years old. Sadly you are missing the main point! Sadly for many children the only hot meal in a day comes from school! The same parents wouldn't pay for a decent meal and would happily provide a mars bar and fizzy Vimto as a meal.
[quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets. And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least. I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer.[/p][/quote]How stupid. First off it is a stock photo - could be many years old. Sadly you are missing the main point! Sadly for many children the only hot meal in a day comes from school! The same parents wouldn't pay for a decent meal and would happily provide a mars bar and fizzy Vimto as a meal. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: 1

2:01pm Thu 31 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

CapitaBackHander wrote:
BuckoTheMoose wrote:
There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets.

And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least.

I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer.
How stupid. First off it is a stock photo - could be many years old. Sadly you are missing the main point! Sadly for many children the only hot meal in a day comes from school! The same parents wouldn't pay for a decent meal and would happily provide a mars bar and fizzy Vimto as a meal.
And whose fault is that? The taxpayer? Yours? Mine? No, it's the parents fault and we are breeding this kind of thing into society by taking up responsibility for children where parents refuse to do it. The more we do this, the more it will be expected.

I'm sorry but saying the parents don't do it, so everyone else must, is stupid, not saying parents should take responsibility rather than us having our wallets picked on their behalf.
[quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: There not 'free'. The money comes out of our wallets. And looking at the picture above, they're not 'meals' either. That looks very unappetizing to say the least. I bet it won't be long before the lefties are calling for the age to be raised and more 'free' 'meals' to be given out at taxpayers expense. There should be none for anyone in my opinion, parents should pay for their childrens food, not the taxpayer.[/p][/quote]How stupid. First off it is a stock photo - could be many years old. Sadly you are missing the main point! Sadly for many children the only hot meal in a day comes from school! The same parents wouldn't pay for a decent meal and would happily provide a mars bar and fizzy Vimto as a meal.[/p][/quote]And whose fault is that? The taxpayer? Yours? Mine? No, it's the parents fault and we are breeding this kind of thing into society by taking up responsibility for children where parents refuse to do it. The more we do this, the more it will be expected. I'm sorry but saying the parents don't do it, so everyone else must, is stupid, not saying parents should take responsibility rather than us having our wallets picked on their behalf. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 2

4:37pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Good call says...

Nothing provided by the Public Sector is in any way free. It is funded by taxation imposed on the goods, services and labour of the private sector and self employed.

The welfare system, including free school meals and child benefit, should be there only for those suffering from hardship. It should not be used to create sacred cows and opportunities for politicians to frighten people into voting for them come election time.
Nothing provided by the Public Sector is in any way free. It is funded by taxation imposed on the goods, services and labour of the private sector and self employed. The welfare system, including free school meals and child benefit, should be there only for those suffering from hardship. It should not be used to create sacred cows and opportunities for politicians to frighten people into voting for them come election time. Good call
  • Score: 3

5:31pm Thu 31 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I don't have kids and I do pay a load of tax, so you think I would be against this but personally I'm not.

Education is free in the UK, and that's a wonderful thing. It doesn't matter how much or how little you earn you will always have access to education for your children. To me a school meal is just part of this education package and I have no issue with it being included. A nice hot healthy (no doubt Jamie Oliver approved) meal will help everybody focus at school, open kids eyes to more healthy foods and hopefully they can pass that information back to their parents and get some healthy meal ideas on that table too.

So by all means say it's the tax payer that pays for it, but as long as you know that this one childless tax payer doesn't mind :)
I don't have kids and I do pay a load of tax, so you think I would be against this but personally I'm not. Education is free in the UK, and that's a wonderful thing. It doesn't matter how much or how little you earn you will always have access to education for your children. To me a school meal is just part of this education package and I have no issue with it being included. A nice hot healthy (no doubt Jamie Oliver approved) meal will help everybody focus at school, open kids eyes to more healthy foods and hopefully they can pass that information back to their parents and get some healthy meal ideas on that table too. So by all means say it's the tax payer that pays for it, but as long as you know that this one childless tax payer doesn't mind :) HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 4

8:44pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Excluded again says...

BuckoTheMoose wrote:
benjiw wrote:
They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There.

The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears.

If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens


foodtrust.org.uk/sch


ools/the-standards/r


evised-standards/res


ources
Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again.

To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer.
I think you'll find that all parents are taxpayers. The vast majority will pay income tax, but even the ones who don't will pay VAT and probably some of duty on petrol or alcohol, tax on savings, Council tax and so on.

Its just about impossible to be an adult in the UK and not pay tax.
[quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benjiw[/bold] wrote: They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There. The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears. If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens foodtrust.org.uk/sch ools/the-standards/r evised-standards/res ources[/p][/quote]Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again. To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer.[/p][/quote]I think you'll find that all parents are taxpayers. The vast majority will pay income tax, but even the ones who don't will pay VAT and probably some of duty on petrol or alcohol, tax on savings, Council tax and so on. Its just about impossible to be an adult in the UK and not pay tax. Excluded again
  • Score: -1

10:45pm Thu 31 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

Excluded again wrote:
BuckoTheMoose wrote:
benjiw wrote:
They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There.

The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears.

If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens



foodtrust.org.uk/sch



ools/the-standards/r



evised-standards/res



ources
Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again.

To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer.
I think you'll find that all parents are taxpayers. The vast majority will pay income tax, but even the ones who don't will pay VAT and probably some of duty on petrol or alcohol, tax on savings, Council tax and so on.

Its just about impossible to be an adult in the UK and not pay tax.
There are a whole underclass of parent who are a net drain on the welfare system, from the benefits and housing they receive to the over use of the NHS through taking little Chardonnay and Jordan to the A&E every time they bump their heads.

It's these I have an issue with and it's these who are the cause of this free school meals nonsense. These are the parents that will give their kids a plate of jaffa cakes for tea because they can't afford to feed all the kids they've chosen to have or they just can't be bothered.

It's those the politicos are thinking of when they implore us to 'think of the children'.

We need to return responsibility for choices to the individual making them instead of keep stepping in and throwing cash at the problem.

There are responsible parents out there who are in work and are net contributors to the tax system. They also should be paying for their children.

If everyone took responsibility for their lot in life and either paid their way or didn't make irresponsible choices they can't afford, maybe we could all pay lower taxes and keep some more of our money to spend as we please.
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benjiw[/bold] wrote: They're.. the word you were looking for was They're not There. The picture at the top is a stock picture that appears across the internet when stories about free school meals are published. It provokes much the same reaction whenever it appears. If you want to see the kinds of meals that are being suggested in schools look at: http://www.childrens foodtrust.org.uk/sch ools/the-standards/r evised-standards/res ources[/p][/quote]Thanks for correcting my grammar. I promise I won't do it again. To be honest, I'm not really bothered if they're serving gourmet food or gruel, we still have to pay for it and it should be up to parents to pay for their own offspring, not the taxpayer.[/p][/quote]I think you'll find that all parents are taxpayers. The vast majority will pay income tax, but even the ones who don't will pay VAT and probably some of duty on petrol or alcohol, tax on savings, Council tax and so on. Its just about impossible to be an adult in the UK and not pay tax.[/p][/quote]There are a whole underclass of parent who are a net drain on the welfare system, from the benefits and housing they receive to the over use of the NHS through taking little Chardonnay and Jordan to the A&E every time they bump their heads. It's these I have an issue with and it's these who are the cause of this free school meals nonsense. These are the parents that will give their kids a plate of jaffa cakes for tea because they can't afford to feed all the kids they've chosen to have or they just can't be bothered. It's those the politicos are thinking of when they implore us to 'think of the children'. We need to return responsibility for choices to the individual making them instead of keep stepping in and throwing cash at the problem. There are responsible parents out there who are in work and are net contributors to the tax system. They also should be paying for their children. If everyone took responsibility for their lot in life and either paid their way or didn't make irresponsible choices they can't afford, maybe we could all pay lower taxes and keep some more of our money to spend as we please. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 4

8:17am Fri 1 Aug 14

benjiw says...

The pilots for this scheme found that when meals were offered to just children that were eligible take up was around the 30% (some areas were slightly higher and some were slightly lower). They found that when all children were offered free meals the take up was around 80% (again some higher and some slightly lower but not much).

If you want to read the reports about how the policy was put together it's all available on the DfE website. (But, of course, don't let the truth get in the way of your whinging)
The pilots for this scheme found that when meals were offered to just children that were eligible take up was around the 30% (some areas were slightly higher and some were slightly lower). They found that when all children were offered free meals the take up was around 80% (again some higher and some slightly lower but not much). If you want to read the reports about how the policy was put together it's all available on the DfE website. (But, of course, don't let the truth get in the way of your whinging) benjiw
  • Score: -4

10:08am Fri 1 Aug 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

benjiw wrote:
The pilots for this scheme found that when meals were offered to just children that were eligible take up was around the 30% (some areas were slightly higher and some were slightly lower). They found that when all children were offered free meals the take up was around 80% (again some higher and some slightly lower but not much).

If you want to read the reports about how the policy was put together it's all available on the DfE website. (But, of course, don't let the truth get in the way of your whinging)
The pilots found that when people are offered free stuff, they choose to take it?

That's amazing, ground breaking even! I'm shocked! I think I need to go and have a lie down.
[quote][p][bold]benjiw[/bold] wrote: The pilots for this scheme found that when meals were offered to just children that were eligible take up was around the 30% (some areas were slightly higher and some were slightly lower). They found that when all children were offered free meals the take up was around 80% (again some higher and some slightly lower but not much). If you want to read the reports about how the policy was put together it's all available on the DfE website. (But, of course, don't let the truth get in the way of your whinging)[/p][/quote]The pilots found that when people are offered free stuff, they choose to take it? That's amazing, ground breaking even! I'm shocked! I think I need to go and have a lie down. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

benjiw says...

The FSM pilot ran from September 2009 to July 2011. Two local authorities (Newham and Durham) offered free school meals to all primary school children, while a third (Wolverhampton) offered them to more primary and secondary school children by extending entitlement to families who were claiming Working Tax Credit and whose annual income did not exceed £16,040 in 2009-10 or £16,190 in 2010-11.
The universal pilot had a significant positive impact on attainment for primary school pupils at Key Stages 1 and 2, with pupils in the universal pilot areas making between four and eight weeks’ more progress than similar pupils in comparison areas. The improvements in attainment in the universal pilot areas appeared to be greater for children from less affluent families4 and those with lower prior attainment.
The pilot was valued by school staff and parents for raising the profile of healthy eating, ensuring pupils get at least one healthy meal a day, increasing the range of food pupils eat, building their social skills at meal times, easing the financial stress for parents and helping parents save time by not having to prepare a packed lunch.
The FSM pilot ran from September 2009 to July 2011. Two local authorities (Newham and Durham) offered free school meals to all primary school children, while a third (Wolverhampton) offered them to more primary and secondary school children by extending entitlement to families who were claiming Working Tax Credit and whose annual income did not exceed £16,040 in 2009-10 or £16,190 in 2010-11. The universal pilot had a significant positive impact on attainment for primary school pupils at Key Stages 1 and 2, with pupils in the universal pilot areas making between four and eight weeks’ more progress than similar pupils in comparison areas. The improvements in attainment in the universal pilot areas appeared to be greater for children from less affluent families4 and those with lower prior attainment. The pilot was valued by school staff and parents for raising the profile of healthy eating, ensuring pupils get at least one healthy meal a day, increasing the range of food pupils eat, building their social skills at meal times, easing the financial stress for parents and helping parents save time by not having to prepare a packed lunch. benjiw
  • Score: 1

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