This summer the Labour Party has announced 6 pledges that illustrate how a Labour government would do things differently. Unlike the Tories we would run our country in the interests of the many. Our fourth pledge is ensuring free school meals for all primary school children and reducing class sizes for all 5, 6 and 7 year olds.
Every primary school child, regardless of their background, should have a free hot school meals available every day. Children who are hungry at school see their concentration in and enjoyment of lessons decreases. There is a stigma to claiming free school meals that ensuring universal provision will eliminate and the additional cost is far lower than the benefit of ensuring that children can learn.
I have seen how the legacy of the last Labour government reducing class sizes has benefited children and Labour is pledging to reduce class sizes again for 5-7 year olds. The unfair and continuous cuts in funding per pupil are putting more and more pressure on school budgets – I’m hearing stories of schools in Reading and West Berkshire appealing for stationary donations, asking for parents to contribute a termly “fee” and reducing support for children with special educational needs. Teachers and teaching assistant jobs are under threat – now more than ever we need to invest in our young people and Labour’s pledges will do exactly that.