This manifesto pledge was promised as a replacement for a policy introduced back in 2014 by the coalition government – free school lunches to all state school pupils in their first three years of primary education. During the 2017 general election campaign, this replacement policy came under heavy criticism from chef and school food campaigner Jamie Oliver, as well as from teachers’ unions and the Labour Party.
Following the election, the government officially abandoned its plans. On 24 July 2017, Robert Goodwill, then children’s minister, said:
“As announced by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System on 4 July we will not be pursuing universal breakfasts for primary school children and we will be retaining the existing provision for universal infant free school meals.”
Despite the expansion of breakfast provision, this manifesto pledge must be classified as ‘broken’, as the government has officially stated that they will not be introducing free breakfasts for all primary school children, which is what was promised in the manifesto.
Get the details
- Jamie Oliver: Axing free school meals a disgrace – BBC
- Written questions and answers – Parliament.uk
- Funding boost to give more children healthy start to the day – Gov.uk
- Soft Drinks Industry Levy – Gov.uk
- Thousands more school children receiving a nutritious breakfast – Gov.uk