NEATH Port Talbot Council is set to start its phased roll-out of free primary school meals to all reception children this September.

The roll-out is a part of the Welsh Government’s commitment for every primary school pupil to receive a free school meal by 2024.

Other primary school year groups will follow reception in a phased approach throughout the year. This is to ensure the school’s catering team are able to manage the additional demand placed upon it. The offer will then be extended to all Year 1 pupils after the October half term, with the ambition of including Year 2 pupils as soon as possible afterwards. Further information on when other year groups will receive free school meals will be announced in the coming months.

Councillor Nia Jenkins, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Training, said:

“In response to the current cost-of-living crisis, the council is doing everything we can to ensure no child in the county borough goes hungry.

“On top of the £2 million hardship relief scheme the Coalition agreed on last week, we will be implementing the roll-out of free school meals as quickly as possible. We would ask for your patience as we build capacity to ensure a successful phased implementation and work towards a full school rollout over the next three years.

“We understand that all families face challenges caused by the crisis, and we are committed to supporting families through this difficult time.”

Children who already receive free school meals will not be affected by the roll-out

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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