School meals
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Schools 'using own budget' for free meals

As schools in England prepare to offer free meals for all four to seven-year-olds, 5 live has learned that many councils are having to part-fund the policy themselves.

Of the 152 councils asked about their budgets, 99 replied, with 34 saying they did not have enough money for the scheme despite being told it was government funded.

Stephen Watkins, head teacher of Mill Field primary school in Leeds, told BBC Radio 5 live's Drive he would have to use money from the IT budget to fund the free lunches.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the scheme provided a "great deal of help" to schools and headteachers did not need to dip into their budgets.

  • 16 Jul 2014
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