Pupils at eight schools in West Sussex will soon be able to enjoy hot school meals, thanks to additional funding from the Government.
The schools, six of which are under Local Authority control, have been allocated a share of capital funding, which will enable them to move from using a packed lunch service to being able to provide hot meals.
It forms part of the Government’s continued commitment to Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM), which was introduced in September 2014.
The money, which combined is worth more than £1million, will be used for building works which include expanding existing dining hall areas or installing kitchen facilities at the schools, depending on their requirement.
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We are very happy these schools have been successful in receiving money as part of this scheme.
“The funding will allow them to meet the Government’s requirements for schools to be able to provide hot school meals to pupils.
“UIFSM gives every infant pupil the chance to enjoy a healthy meal on every school day and that goes a long way in helping to give children the best possible start in life.”
The Department for Education made £20million available nationally to help primary schools across the country to provide hot school meals at lunchtimes.
Not all of the bids from primary schools in West Sussex were successful, with nine schools turned down by the Government – including several who were looking to the additional funding to help make improvements to their existing facilities.
Jeremy added: “While we are happy for those schools who will receive money, that is tempered by the news that several other schools in West Sussex were not successful.
“We will continue to look for additional funding for those nine schools, where improved facilities would help the management of their lunchtime arrangements.”