College meals: What number of children can claim free meals?

College meals: What number of children can claim free meals?

By Actuality Test

BBC News


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The row over extending free college meals over the college holidays has persevered into its 2d week.

The UK authorities has defended no longer extending the contrivance over the half of-term holiday. It says it is miles supporting households thru extra money for smartly-liked credit rating and further funding for councils.

Nevertheless how many pupils can claim free college meals, and which parts of the nation rep the highest charges?

Who is eligible with out cost college meals?

In England, children living in households on revenue-related advantages (akin to smartly-liked credit rating) are eligible with out cost college meals, as lengthy as their annual family revenue does no longer exceed £7,400 after tax, no longer alongside side welfare funds.

This is the identical in Wales and Scotland, then again in Northern Eire the cap is made up our minds at £14,000 a year.

If a child is eligible, their parent or guardian can claim at any age – from pre-college to extra education.

In England and Scotland, all child command college pupils (these in Reception and in Years 1 and 2) can win free college meals at some stage in term time – no topic their family revenue.

What number of are eligible with out cost college meals?

As of January 2020, aside from for year groups the effect eligibility is smartly-liked, 1.4m children qualify with out cost college meals in England – or 17.3% of the pupil inhabitants.

This is the highest proportion of kids eligible in no longer less than a decade.

In Scotland, the identical resolve is 89,000 main and secondary pupils – or about 17% of pupils.

Where is free college meal eligibility highest?

The proportion of kids eligible varies significantly all around the nation, however on the total matches recognised trends surrounding regional deprivation and wealth.

As an illustration, nearly a quarter of pupils in the north-east of England are eligible in contrast with about 13% of pupils in the south-east.

The highest proportion of faculty students eligible with out cost college meals – about a third – in England are in:

  • Knowsley
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Blackpool
  • Islington
  • Hackney

In the intervening time, the lowest proportion of pupils eligible – fewer than one in 10 – are in:

  • The Isles of Scilly
  • Wokingham
  • Rutland
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Buckinghamshire

Some groups usually are usually eligible than others, alongside side some ethnic minorities.

As an illustration, extra than 60% of Irish Traveller pupils taking their GCSEs are eligible with out cost college meals.

Roma/Gypsy, Bangladeshi and dim pupils furthermore rep disproportionately high eligibility.

In the intervening time, white, Indian and Chinese pupils are far less seemingly to be eligible with out cost college meals.

Are all children in poverty eligible?

Constant with the Department for Work and Pensions, an estimated 4.1m children stay in relative poverty in Gigantic Britain.

Then again, fewer than two million pupils all over Scotland, Wales and England are eligible with out cost college meals.

Nevertheless these two numbers are in the raze showing two varied issues.

Relative poverty is calculated by taking the median revenue – that’s the revenue the effect half of of all households fabricate extra and half of fabricate less – after which having a watch at how many children stay in households earning less than 60% of this.

In the intervening time, free college meal eligibility is a size of how many college-age children are living in households claiming some win of employment-related welfare wait on.

Some households in relative poverty might perchance perchance well even no longer meet the monetary threshold to claim particular advantages.

Is there a size for hunger?

Both relative poverty and free college meal eligibility are measurements of revenue in effect of food insecurity – even despite the truth that the two are intently linked.

In the UK, there’s no single size for hunger.

Then again, a file by the Residence of Commons Environmental Audit Committee from 2019 checked out varied measurements in a file on food insecurity.

  • A 2018 file from the UN’s Meals and Agriculture Organisation estimated 2.2 million individuals in the UK were severely food scared. This changed into the highest in Europe.
  • A 2017 Unicef file learned that about 10% of kids beneath 15 lived with a parent who changed into severely food scared.
  • Almost half of of younger mothers (16-24) surveyed by Younger Females’s Belief admitted to lacking meals to provide for his or her children.

None of these measurements are finest, however shine some light on the scale of the discipline.

Will eligibility amplify thanks to coronavirus?

This is seemingly – significantly because it is miles in accordance to these claiming welfare.

We all know that in Gigantic Britain, the number of households with children claiming smartly-liked credit rating elevated by about 45% between January and Also can 2020.

Then again, no longer all of the extra 500,000 households with children claiming the wait on might perchance perchance be eligible with out cost college meals, due to the the £7,400 cap.

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