Free School Meals – what does this tell us about ‘post-recession’ education?

OFSTED statistics for 2013 showed that young people receiving Free School Meals had increased to a national average of 28%.  

 

Whilst a number of indicators suggest that the economy in the UK is recovering (house price rises, unemployment levels, retail spend), the proportion of families nationwide who avail themselves of free school meals is surely an indication that the legacy of a serious economic downturn is one which has been felt not only by the adult population, but those who are or will soon be climbing the employment and further/higher education ladder.  

What this suggests too is that, at times of greatest need for families and young people, any plans that financial support might be reduced for schools in areas like Free School Meals must be very carefully thought through by central and local government to avoid the negative impact on students being felt far beyond the great financial crisis.

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