Sky News has learned that the government is looking into scrapping free school meals for all infants at lunchtimes.
The scheme was introduced by Nick Clegg back in the days of the coalition government and saves the parents of children in reception, Year One and Year Two around £400 per child, per year.
Jamie Oliver, who is currently advising the government on child obesity, said “it would be a disaster” if George Osborne were to scrap the scheme in his next spending review in November. The celebrity chef told Sky News that it has been “a major step forward for children’s health and academic performance” as most packed lunches “get nowhere near the nutritional standards set for school meals”.
Although the Department for Education has most of its £54 billion ring-fenced, about £14 billion spent on early years education, teacher training, colleges and UIFSM is not protected. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has to offer two proposals, where spending on these unprotected areas would be cut by 25% and 40%.
The Department of Education refuses to rule out scrapping the scheme.