Search

Video: Schools Minister enjoys lunch with children at Plaistow school

09:42 21 July 2014

Schools Minister David Laws and Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales have lunch with schoolchildren of Tollgate Primary School.

Schools Minister David Laws and Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales have lunch with schoolchildren of Tollgate Primary School.

Archant

Schools Minister David Laws joined youngsters for lunch today at one of the schools in Newham which have enjoyed free meals for the last five years.

Schools Minister David Laws and Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales have lunch with schoolchildren of Tollgate Primary School.Schools Minister David Laws and Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales have lunch with schoolchildren of Tollgate Primary School.

Mr Laws, who was joined by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales, visited Tollgate Primary school where almost 100 per cent of the children have free school meals.

He spoke to children about their meals in the run up to September 1 when the government will make free school dinners avialable to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Newham took part in a pilot in 2009 to provide free meals to all primary school children and continued to run the project despite the coalition government’s decision to cut funding.

Newham Council uses nearly £6 million of its own annual funds to deliver a programme across 67 primary schools. The Department for Education chose the Plaistow school because it was impressed with its key stage two results, at 90 per cent, which have also increased year on year.

A spokeswoman for the DfE said: “Newham is unique in that it’s a borough with a lot of disadvantaged families so they provide free school meals to every child at primary school. Universal infant free school meals being introduced in September will be for all children in the first three years of primary school but Newham clearly shows the benefit of providing free school meals.

“Positive eating habits help improve concentration and performance in the classroom so these new school food standards will continue to restrict unhealthy foods to ensure our children eat well.

“The evidence is overwhelming that we’ve got far too many kids, who are poor, but not receiving free school meals, who are not getting a good meal at lunchtime and are failing to concentrate in the afternoon. Their education is suffering, and their health is suffering as well, and they are often then on the early steps towards obesity.

”Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham said: “In Newham, over the last five years we have been delivering universal free school meals to all our primary school children not just those in the early years. We have continued to fund this initiative without Government’s help and in the face of savage cuts from the coalition Government because it provides vital support to all our children.

“I welcome the fact that the coalition Government has chosen to introduce a free school meals initiative for children in reception, Years 1 and 2 after scrapping the pilot without proper evidence. We hope the overly centralized approach that the coalition Government has taken - failing to provide schools with adequate levels of funding, or support to increase their capacity - does not end up failing the very children they have promised to help,” he added.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:12
Police are investigating after an object was thrown onto a van driving on the A13

“Someone’s going to be killed.” Those were the words of a white van driver after he became the latest person to have an object, thought to be a brick, thrown onto his roof on the A13.

Metropolitan Police
Yesterday, 16:47
Staff and patients from Richard House Children's Hospice pose with former F1 world champion Niki Lauda's first car outside St Joseph's Hospice

Youngsters were able to get up close and personal with a piece of sporting history today as a car belonging to Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda showed up to deliver presents.

London
Yesterday, 15:05
Tom Odell sings‘ 'Real Love'’ at the piano [Photos: David Benett/Getty Images]

An array of A-List celebs turned up in London’s East End last night to hear pop idol Tom Odell perform his Christmas TV ad hit at the launch of ‘Manhattan island city’ development on the banks of the River Lea.

United Kingdom
Yesterday, 12:40
Custody Seargeant Raj looks in on an offender

An ashen-faced woman alleged to have slashed her partner with a 10inch serrated knife is led in by two police officers.

Ian Larnder

Most read news

From Nigel Farage to George Galloway, it’s been a year of people trying to make a change in politics.

If you’ve taken time off to escape from your boss, you’re not alone.

The judge reckons the PC did not have enough wit to invent the story.

There’s been a rise in the number of fresh shop-bought chickens contaminated with the bug since August.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition