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Parents Encouraged to Apply for Free School Meals

Parents Encouraged to Apply for Free School Meals

Weir encourages parents of eligible children to apply for free school meals

That was the message from Education Minister, Peter Weir as the new school year approaches.

The Minister said: “One of my Department’s aims is to raise standards in education and the importance of a healthy school meal in achieving this should not be underestimated. There is a recognised connection between healthy eating and improved learning and a nutritious school meal contributes to a young person’s growth and development.”

The ‘Food in Schools’ policy advocates a whole school approach to ensure that only healthy food is provided in schools and that young people develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to enjoy a healthy lifestyle as they progress through life.

Continuing the Minister said: “Eating a nutritious school meal can improve a child’s concentration, behaviour and their ability to learn in class. This ultimately leads to better educational outcomes. Parents have a role to play in encouraging healthy eating and embedding a lifelong habit that will ultimately lead to improved health in adult years.”

In 2015/16, 101,063 pupils were eligible for free school meals with 82,002 (81.1%) of eligible pupils availing of the service.

Further information on Applying for Free School Meals is available here

Further information is also available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/nutrition-and-school-lunches

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The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

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