Lichfield and Burntwood schools ready to offer free school meals

Every school in Lichfield and Burntwood will be able to serve free school meals to youngsters, according to Staffordshire County Council.

The Government’s plans will see children in reception, year one and year two entitled to a free meal each day from September.

Cllr Ben Adams

Cllr Ben Adams

And Cllr Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning and skills, said that an “outstanding effort” to revamp and rebuild kitchens means local schools were prepared for the change.

“Many larger schools just didn’t have the facilities in place to meet the increase in demand when all the youngest children are entitled to a meal,” he said. “Since December we have commissioned our services provider Entrust to inspect more than 180 schools and then carry out the necessary work.

“When you consider the size of Staffordshire and the number of schools involved, it’s been an outstanding effort to get this far, this quickly and be in a position to make this commitment.”

Work to prepare schools has ranged from installing serveries, refrigeration and new ovens, to making structural alterations to accommodate equipment and moving mains electricity and gas supplies.

Cllr Adams added: “The new initiative will allow more children the opportunity to benefit from a good meal to set them up for a day’s learning and I hope in the long run it will encourage more children to carry on eating school dinners.”

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