Larne teacher fears free school meals ‘will go uneaten’

editorial image

Thousands more children are set to benefit from free school meals from September, but a Larne teacher is concerned the most vulnerable will still miss out.

Audrey Stewart of the Ulster Teachers’ Union was responding to the Education Minister’s message for families to take up the free dinner option if they are entitled.

“From the start of this new term an additional 15,000 secondary school pupils from low income households will be able to benefit from free school meals and this is to be welcomed. But its positive impact will only be felt if the pupils take up the offer,” said Mrs Stewart, formerly head of Olderfleet Primary.

“Statistics from DENI earlier this year showed that just over 80 percent of those entitled to free dinners took them.

“We need to find out why the uptake is not 100 percent.”